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[DnD 4E] Forgotten Realms

AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Critical Failures
Fourth Edition: Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting

Unlike the other thread, this thread is about the 4E campaign setting Forgotten Realms so I shall shamelessly steal this from the other thread and expand upon it:

Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide
Forgotten Realms Players Guide
Scepter Tower of Spellgard

This is currently the only campaign setting that has come out for Fourth Edition and IMO, it's pretty decent. It marks a significant departure from the previous editions versions of the Forgotten Realms however. It has enough detail that any DM will find it a useful resource for making a campaign and providing an overall world to set that campaign in. It does not have the depth of lore or similar that previous editions have had, which is what leads to a lot of the negativity surrounding the setting.

Here is a run down of major changes to the setting (By far not a comprehensive list), all started by "The Spellplague", which ravaged the world and did a whole bunch of damage, which causes all the below changes.

2) Mystra, the God of Magic got killed by another God called Cyric. This is rather like being killed by the three stooges. Ok, I'll refrain from putting my personal opinion into this too much, but none the less she gets killed somehow by Cyric who was manipualated into doing it by Shar. Shar is, coincidentally the new "big evil" of the realms after accomplishing this (and Cyric was imprisoned where is going more insane for his trouble).

3) The weave and shadow weave, the way that magic users accessed magic in Faerun previously, shattered and the resulting mess created the spellplague.

4) A lot of NPCs from the previous setting are dead and a large number of Gods as well. Most of the Seven Sisters are dead or missing, Elminster was crippled and Gods have been shuffled around. One thing they did was reveal many pantheons as actually being one God with many different names, so they consolidated the number of Gods down a lot.

5) Continents were shifted with a "sister world" called Abeir (The Forgotten Realms is set on the continent of Faerun, which is in the world "Toril") replacing landmasses with places in Toril. This is where races like Dragonborn and the like originate in the new realms.

6) Many other places were simply destroyed (Neverwinter and Lantans Rest come to mind immediately) and other places were relatively unharmed in many ways. A huge rift to the underdark was opened in the middle of the place though and it actually drained a large amount of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

7) Areas of active "Spellplague" called plaguelands (predictably enough) are around the place as well. These have horrible abberant monsters amongst other things in them and are plain unpleasant to live.

8) Thay was turned into a giant nation of the undead by Szass Tam, when he almost successfully cast a ritual that would have ascended him to God hood. He's obviously not too upset by failing and is clearly thinking about expanding into his neighbours territories: probably to try again.

9) Finally they advanced the timeline by 100 years.

So that's some of the big changes that occurred, but by no means a comprehensive or exhaustive list.

In my opinion, I like the new realms. I never liked the huge amount of high level good aligned NPCs everywhere and I always felt there was a lot of previous material making it difficult to change things where I wanted. 4E FR takes a similar approach to the rest of 4E, giving you lots of ideas about adventuring, setting up antagonists for campaigns and similar. The book does this at the expense of a lot of lore and detail about NPCs that the setting was once known for. This has really aggravated some old fans and others (like me) are more happy with the increased 'freedom' to change what we want about the setting.

Personally, I find that I can go to nearly anywhere in the 4E realms, read the area and potential campaign sites and spend 30 minutes easily coming up with ways to start a campaign there. So naturally that means I rather like it. On the other hand, it doesn't give you a lot of details beyond the odd name or hint at things that are happening to go on. The 4E Forgotten Realms campaign guide though is well worth it if you want adventure ideas, a workable campaign setting to mold to your liking and a good place to set adventuring in. If you loved the depth of lore, NPCs and similar of the previous realms, I'm almost certain you are NOT going to like this: keep your old books.

Moving on...

The players guide IMO is a useful resource even if you don't actually like the realms as a setting. Although a fair chunk of the book is dedicated to the FR, the Swordmage, races (Drow and Genasi) and feats make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone. Especially if you want to play in the realms.

The adventure is decent quality, but requires a lot of work compared to the 'core' adventure series to get fully implemented into a campaign. It also starts at level 2, which is a real pain for DMs wanting to just jump right into a 4E campaign with the adventure and some fresh level 1 PCs. I am actually running this shortly for my Hollow Sacrifice group, I'll let you know how they find it.

Useful Stuff:

Here is a map of the Forgotten Realms.

It's worth noting that like Eberron (to come out soon), the only "official" support beyond the supplements mentioned above will be in Dragon/Dungeon for the realms. They have not, IMO, really been very great at supporting it thus far in either magazine and it remains to be seen if they will follow through on promises to improve it.

Aegeri on
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Posts

  • Prester JohnPrester John Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Most of the Seven Sisters are dead or missing

    That bitch Radcliffe had it coming.

    thus endeth my bad joke quota for the day

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2009
    So as I was saying in the other thread - I'm gearing up to run a couple of separate campaigns in the 4E Realms, and the main problem I'm encountering is deciding where to set them. Part of my problem is my own stupid mental hangup - specifically, I really like the stuff about Netheril and think they'd make a great adversary, but running a campaign in Cormyr or the Dales seems like such an obvious, well-worn place to begin.

    Other ideas I had included a horror/intrigue campaign beginning in Tethyr and going into the vampire-ruled Night Baronies, or something to do with the demon cult in Impiltur. The problem becomes finding a worthwhile BBEG to tie it all back to in the long term - a clan of vampires, for instance, doesn't feel like a particularly epic-level threat.

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    If I couldn't pick between locales I'd cheat and use them all. Like you're saying about the vampire story starting here and ending there. The party uncover a plot over here by x and discover threads leading back over there where nefarious y is hatching a much larger scheme. And of course part of x's conspiracy evildoing kit is a magic mirror that leads to the country y lives in.

    This might be an obvious piece of GM advice, but as for big bads - the last campaign I ran was for MERP and lasted years, and the best thing I learned from it was that big bads don't have to be epic in size and scope to provide a satisfying climax. If you can make the party absolutely hate them it's sometimes even better. Have the vampire clan run by someone who'll be tough to knockover in the final battle, sure (a vampire who's also a were-dragon would provide a fun oshit moment), but if you have a couple of unique henchmen dog the party's every step through the campaign and constantly screw them over a final climax involving killing them will feel soooo good, even if they're not the end of level boss themselves.

    My major bad guy was this mage/dragon who was tough as nails to beat, but the party fell over themselves to get to the evil one-eyed dwarf and his partner Black Numenorean mage next to him because after years of having these guys kick their asses and otherwise thwart them they were just itching to repay them in kind.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I dig 4e forgotten realms.

    I haven't had the chance to be a player in it (and probably won't) but I enjoy DM'ing it.

    My players are a swordmage (human wheloon escapee), ranger (halfelf from silverymoon), warlord (drow from silverymoon, never been in the underdark) a rogue (dragonborn hatched in the gray vale, doesn't know her parents), and a druid (wild elf from elfharrow).

    Like Aegeri, I enjoy the books. Just enough info and hooks to get players jumpstarted with characters and to get the DM jumpstarted with adventurin' ideas... and not so much info that you feel locked into anything (my problem with 3E FR: too much goddamned history).

    So far I'm enjoying it and I wish I had more time in my IRL schedule to game!

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    So as I was saying in the other thread - I'm gearing up to run a couple of separate campaigns in the 4E Realms, and the main problem I'm encountering is deciding where to set them. Part of my problem is my own stupid mental hangup - specifically, I really like the stuff about Netheril and think they'd make a great adversary, but running a campaign in Cormyr or the Dales seems like such an obvious, well-worn place to begin.

    Cormyr can easily incorporate Netheril however, considering the Netherese are pushing on Cormyrs borders through their puppet state in Sembia. This allows you to build the shades and even Shar into the game, which both provide very suitable epic level and planar threats to your game.
    Other ideas I had included a horror/intrigue campaign beginning in Tethyr and going into the vampire-ruled Night Baronies, or something to do with the demon cult in Impiltur. The problem becomes finding a worthwhile BBEG to tie it all back to in the long term - a clan of vampires, for instance, doesn't feel like a particularly epic-level threat.

    You need to ask yourself then "Does this campaign need to go to epic level?". I usually like level 1-30 games, but there is nothing wrong with a game that goes from level 1-20 or even 1-14 or so. It's best not to stretch out your villains beyond what they can achieve, unless you have backups.

    My campaigns have very high level antagonists, that I introduce over time and then actually try to characterise quite a lot. Sorrow of Heaven for example has two primary antagonists in the 30s who are designed to be epic scale threats and the PCs choices throughout the campaign will decide how those threats act. Tides of Dust has a "horror in a box" as an antagonist that could threaten the entire world, but is designed more with "This is just a big desperate and immensely gruesome fight" compared with SoH. Hollow Sacrifice has an entire race for an antagonist and such forth.

    Some of my other planned campaigns are much shorter, just to provide a bridge to more elaborate campaigns. I intend to run a game from level 4-9 for example, about a particular dragon terrorising a small community. That game focuses less on the antagonist or villain and more on the village, the people in it and how the PCs interact with various groups around it. Another is an extremely violent short campaign from levels 20-30 set at the Dawn War of Creation. Purely an epic campaign in scope and with obvious antagonists (Primordials), being more of a military campaign and having a dose of political backstabbing/intrigue with many of the original Gods (and some Primordials) at the time.

    Really you shouldn't focus on making every campaign go from level 1-30 and instead settle on what works best for your game. If you don't feel you can go to epic levels, don't and stick the game firmly where it makes sense. It will be more fun for both you and your players in the end.

  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    So as I was saying in the other thread - I'm gearing up to run a couple of separate campaigns in the 4E Realms, and the main problem I'm encountering is deciding where to set them. Part of my problem is my own stupid mental hangup - specifically, I really like the stuff about Netheril and think they'd make a great adversary, but running a campaign in Cormyr or the Dales seems like such an obvious, well-worn place to begin.

    Other ideas I had included a horror/intrigue campaign beginning in Tethyr and going into the vampire-ruled Night Baronies, or something to do with the demon cult in Impiltur. The problem becomes finding a worthwhile BBEG to tie it all back to in the long term - a clan of vampires, for instance, doesn't feel like a particularly epic-level threat.

    I'm having a similar trouble with choosing a setting. I have a place I want them to start because it fits my storyline quite well, but I want them to branch out quite a bit before the end of Heroic tier. I suppose I could easily add quest rewards for travel to get them to other cities..?

    Oh and I <3 FR.

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Use plot coupons. You know, 'you must collect all five of the sacred stones of whibble and each lies in a different pleasingly varied location'.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2009
    My main thing is that my last couple of games have involved almost nonstop travel, and I feel like I don't get to develop any supporting characters or locales at all, so I was hoping to tie the PCs down somewhere for a while. On the other hand, moving once every ten levels or so is probably doable.

  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Spoilered for my players
    Spoiler:

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Tides of Dust is a campaign set on the high seas in the Sword Coast. Instead of giving my players a home "port" i instead gave them a ship with a crew on it. Although at the time I hadn't developed these people that much initially, I am going to develop the crew and their personalities far more than I originally have. These people will provide the basic "home" for the PCs where they go in the Sword Coast (they have a trip to the Underdark and even being Sunk to look forward towards). This will allow the PCs to develop a rapport and affinity for the setting and game, while still allowing me to take them all over the Sword Coast for various different adventures (They started in the Nelanther Isles, explored a sunken temple, routed some drow pirates from Dragonport and have since travelled to Chult where they are stuck in the Pyramid of Shadows).

    The ship and crew can allow me to develop some characters important to the plot, plus give the players a feeling of having a central home while still traveling all over the place.

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    New article coming out on the Sharn soon in Dragon. I always liked those creepy little buggers from 3rd edition and I hope they expand the numbers of Sharn and such around. Plus some more background as to what they are currently up to.

  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'm curious about the deity listings in the FRPG and such...are those supposed to be the hard and fast gods of Faerun, or do the gods from the PHB exist also? I know some of them are 'replaced' in the Forgotten Realms setting, and I also know that it's my game, my world, and I can do whatever the hell I want. Just curious...

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    FR has its own separate pantheon with some overlap, but even where there is overlap often the FR God acts differently than the 'core' God. Bane in FR is different than the bane in the core origin and such forth. This also means much of the information about Gods in manual of the planes isn't very useful for knowing much about them.

    In general, the 4E realms seems to have shifted focus away from the Gods in FR and has been sticking them in the background. The Pantheon in FR used to be gigantic, but the spellplague killed a whole bunch of them.

  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Right, but I mean the difference between the Raven Queen and Kelemvor, Ioun and whoever-the-god-of-knowledge is (seperated from manuals atm). Like for that I probably don't need to do anything, but where FR leaves a deity lacking, I can use a core one. Or hell, here's what's more likely: I'll use the core god with the name of the FR god, or just use the core god altogether as some kind of splinter cult/temple of worship. This mostly applies to RQ and Kelemvor for my immediate concerns.

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You mean Oghma?

    In my opinion, FR needs Pelor. Pelor makes everything awesome. Or is Amaunator supposed to be basically him?

    Sig1.png
  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Well for the purposes of my campaign, The Raven Queen is Kelemvor, and Ioun is Oghma. I should probably put that in the thread on the appropriate forum...

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You mean Oghma?

    In my opinion, FR needs Pelor. Pelor makes everything awesome. Or is Amaunator supposed to be basically him?

    Amaunator is similar to Pelor, but more into hitting things in the head. But yeah, he's the guy who deals with the dawn light and that sort of thing. He was previously Lathander, but since the spellplague he's adopter his older name.

    Kelemvor has his own divine realm and doesn't live on the Shadowfell in FR. The Raven Queen doesn't exist, because the Shadowfell in FR is a realm created by Shar when she saved what was left of the Shadow-weave after the spellplague. The Shadowfell in FR is different from the core cosmology. Kelemvor though is more a neuralish God of the Dead and does not have to really be much different from the Raven Queen (He hates undead with a passion and such as well).

  • REG RyskREG Rysk Lord Rageface Rageington Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    That's not exactly where I was going Aegeri...I remember from the Dragon Article about the Lost City of the Dead or whatever that the Raven Queen was on the outer gates. If the Raven Queen hates undead so much, why would researchers of the undead build a statue to her honor?

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    REG Rysk wrote: »
    That's not exactly where I was going Aegeri...I remember from the Dragon Article about the Lost City of the Dead or whatever that the Raven Queen was on the outer gates. If the Raven Queen hates undead so much, why would researchers of the undead build a statue to her honor?

    The Raven Queen deals with the dead and such after they pass on through to the Shadowfell. Where there are copious amounts of them, but her Clerics in the actual "world" go around beating in undead heads as a part of what they do (to send their souls on to her or something). She has undead servitors herself such as Sorrowsworn. It's worth noting that Kelemvor hates undead more than the Raven Queen does. If you are taking that city in question into the FR, you can most easily place it in Netheril or Sembia, somewhere around there. That would fit very well, considering the Netherese in FR can do almost anything under the sun you want them to do.

  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You mean Oghma?

    In my opinion, FR needs Pelor. Pelor makes everything awesome. Or is Amaunator supposed to be basically him?

    Pretty much, though Amaunator is a little less Holy Protector and a little more Star Quarterback.

    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I start running my FR campaign tonight: we're starting in Loudwater and I'm hoping to get the barrow-raid done in a couple of sessions while dropping hints about a cinpiracy of which the Lady of Shadows is only the smallest player. I've substituted the slavery ring and the connection to Najara with a narcotics trafficing business and a plot by either Netheril or Szass Tam. My opening hook is that the party are carrying a sealed chest full of drugs bound for Zark, the untrustworthy dwarf in Garwan's Curiosities, and said chest gets knocked open by something during the goblin raid. Once the dust settles the town guard see what's in the chest and promptly arrest the party.

    While technically innocent of any wrongdoing (and having just fought off a raid) the party are dragooned into raiding the barrow by the guard and Lady Moonfire, with Zark getting off scott free as there's no real evidence against him and he denies everything (can you spot the annoying recurring bad guy yet?). Once they've sorted the barrow they'll want to look into the drug-trafficing business (I hope), which will kick into Zark's connection with bandits and the Lady of Shadows battle, which will then make them town heroes. I might cough up the dough for D&D Insider to run the adventure in Draigdurroch tower after that, or I might just have them look into links between the Lady of Shadows and her mysterious employer, who turns out to be a mage located inside a dangerous keep on an earthmote that's been floating around the area for a couple months (I might use the Thane brother's hall I'm using in the pbp here for this - it's a nice, intelligently designed house). And from there they can start following the breadcrumbs back to the Shades of Netheril or someone working for Szass Tamm. And of course while this is going on they'll be getting used to Loudwater and its inhabitants. That's the basic plan, anyway. Maps for the first few encounters are all sorted, and counters will be opal fruits (I refuse to call them starburst) and M&M's (only kill what you can eat).

    Also, ahahahahaha. I've just read jacobkosh's review of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide on Amazon. Perfect.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    I start running my FR campaign tonight: we're starting in Loudwater and I'm hoping to get the barrow-raid done in a couple of sessions while dropping hints about a cinpiracy of which the Lady of Shadows is only the smallest player. I've substituted the slavery ring and the connection to Najara with a narcotics trafficing business and a plot by either Netheril or Szass Tam. My opening hook is that the party are carrying a sealed chest full of drugs bound for Zark, the untrustworthy dwarf in Garwan's Curiosities, and said chest gets knocked open by something during the goblin raid. Once the dust settles the town guard see what's in the chest and promptly arrest the party.

    Interesting hook. Must be a somewhat unscrupulous party :P
    I might cough up the dough for D&D Insider to run the adventure in Draigdurroch tower after that,

    I've been using this and so far I like it. The DC's in the skill challenge it starts with might not be hard enough, could be worth taking a look at. The first combat encounter requires some good strategy on the PC's part to deal with, or it could go pretty badly for them.
    or I might just have them look into links between the Lady of Shadows and her mysterious employer, who turns out to be a mage located inside a dangerous keep on an earthmote that's been floating around the area for a couple months.

    That's kinda neat... plus a lil' side trek in an earth mote would be cool. I may have to steal this idea. :)

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    I get the impression, and I might be wrong, that Bogart's PCs don't actually know they're drug mules.

    I've just been going over the Loudwater stuff and I like it. It's generic but not in a bad way, and it's like they went out of their way to show just how many adventure hooks even a sleepy small town could have.

    Bogart: you should have the trail lead to Szass Tam, because I'm totally calling dibs on Netheril. 8-) In all seriousness, though, good luck with the session (even though you're in TEH FUTARE and already know). Let me know how it goes/went.

    My friends and I have had a couple sessions of my new FR4E campaign so far, and it's going well. It's based in Daggerdale, which I chose because it manages to be both remote (and very much undeveloped as a setting, compared to the rest of the Dales) and yet close to where the action is. We began with the PCs, who had been fished from the water after a shipwreck in the Moonsea, coming to from a drugged stupor, finding themselves marching through the dark woods in shackles and surrounded by Zhentarim slavers. When werewolves jumped the caravan, the PCs broke loose and did a skill challenge to outrun the werewolf pack, finally finding themselves in the tiny, ass-end town of Dagger Falls.

    The town is the one point of civilization at the center of a giant woods crawling with werewolves and other nasties, and it's essentially under siege; everyone hustles out at dawn to farm and fish, but woe to anyone stuck outside the stockade at nightfall. No caravans have made it through from elsewhere in a couple of months and the townsfolk are getting desperate.

    What's actually going on is that a local Sembian merchant is trying to squeeze out his competition in the Dale (and bring it into the Sembian fold) by strangling their trade, and to that end has had recourse to a bunch of lycanthropic and shadow-spawned beasts from his masters in Netheril; meanwhile, the desperate local lord has retained a band of hardass mercenaries to clean out the monsters, unaware that they're actually Zhents and are using their contract as an excuse to run drugs and slaves, possibly as a prelude to reconquering the dale as a province of a rebuilt Zhentil Keep.

    What I'm trying to do is to get a bit of a sandbox thing going, where the PCs are just dumped into the middle of this and left to figure it all out (or not). I've never run one of these, before, so I'm not entirely sure how to go about setting it up and am just playing things by ear.
    Bogart wrote: »
    Also, ahahahahaha. I've just read jacobkosh's review of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide on Amazon. Perfect.

    Heheh, thanks! I thought I was going to get voted into oblivion for that one but it seems truth and justice are on my side.

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Aye, the party weren't aware they were drug-running for the seemingly-honest merchant in Secomber, though when one of the town guard accidentally kicked open their chest in the dying moments of the goblin raid, revealing highly valuable and highly illegal 'Tibor' leaves, they cottoned on quite quickly. Zark denied everything, and the party decided off their own bat that raiding the barrow and stopping the ritual was a good idea shortly before Captain Harrowleaf called them into a meeting with himself and Lady Moonfire to discuss their cargo, broadly hinting that taking care of the barrow would clear their name of any hint of impropriety.

    It helped that one of the PC's had chatted up Lady Moonfire the previous night in the Green Tankard and made some great diplomacy rolls. My Lady Moonfire is perhaps more of a dim posh gal than the writer intended, but I think the 'oh gosh that's so super' tone was fun. It makes a change from my usual country bumpkin NPC's, most of which end up sounding like extras from the pub in An American Werewolf In London.

    We got the town raid and the first barrow room done in what turned out to be a four-hour session, and got a decent amount of roleplaying done in between the combat. M&M's make for tasty counters, but I think I'm going to have to either invest in some floor tiles or sort out some decent smaller counters to use with the photocopied maps, as it got a little confusing with only six colours of M&M's. An ominous earthmote was seen briefly on the horizon, and hints of the Lady of Shadows reached the ears of the party rogue (who interestingly chose not to share them with the rest of the party).

    The second combat was a bit too easy for my liking, due to me not playing the gobbos correctly and drawing the party over the trap, and I didn't roll the second d10 for damage when a bloodied skullcleaver hit, but you live and learn. Also, barbarians, for anyone who hasn't had one in their group, hit awfully hard. After whiffing his way through the first combat he did about 36hp of damage in one turn against the hexer and laid him the hell out.

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I changed much of the original FR material for my campaign Hollow Sacrifice.

    I had them start on a riverboat headed towards Loudwater, which I made a border town with somewhat dubious standards between Aglarond and Thay. Captain Harrowleaf was the boat captain (predictably enough) and I made some of my own NPCs as crew/random antagonists. After repelling an assault by some undead, they found out a connection between the assaulting creatures and a man named Saren.

    After beating the shit out of Saren and then interrogating him, they further learned of a slaving ring in Loudwater linked to a mysterious "Lady of Shadows". Inevitably they then hunted down the Lady of Shadows, beat the snot out of her and that led them towards Thoran in the Scepter Tower at the Spellgard ruins. So I neatly tied some of those NPCs from the book into a different plothook for my PCs to justify going to Spellgard (which is now in Thay).

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Is the Spellguard adventure any good? I'm tempted to run it after the party's levelled up, but have heard conflicting stories of its quality.

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    Is the Spellguard adventure any good? I'm tempted to run it after the party's levelled up, but have heard conflicting stories of its quality.

    It's got some good encounters, though I have developed a hatred of spiral staircases because of it I must admit. It's a pretty standard dungeon crawl really and the real reason for using it is Lady Saharel as a story telling mechanic. You do need to change its background and other things, but again I find it a functional adventure.

    My primary issues with it is that the damn thing goes from level 2-4 (or whatever) which is a stupid number for an adventure to start people in FR.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Comparing notes is neat.
    Spoiler:

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • ArasakiArasaki Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Without getting into a book discussion, Drizzt is still alive according to The Orc King :P

    I might get drunk one day and fall in love or fall over a hooker outside, and I would have consummated a relationship that I couldn't necessarily believe in.
  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Comparing notes is indeed awesome. Having a couple of kids along would be neat, I think, though remembering what an annoying little scuzzball I was in my brother's games twenty years ago makes me a little wary.

    The party investigating the barrow in my game was an almost entirely human party, a decent mix of barbarian, swordmage, warlord/cleric, paladin, rogue and wizard, and the people from the local meetup group (five guys, one lass) all turned out to be fine. We were playing in a room in a local pub that's built into the rock base of the 'castle' in town. It claims to be the oldest established pub in England, but so do many others. Cool setting for the game, though. The table could have done with being a bit bigger, but the atmosphere was fine. Another RP group played something else on a couple of tables nearby, and I think another D&D group were meeting elsewhere in the pub at the same time.

    I'd have loved to use legos or minatures, but using the maps from the FR Campaign Guide meant that they'd be too big for the map. I'll try and blow the maps I'm using up to a larger size for the next session, or invest in some tiles. I have a metric ton of old citadel minatures back at my folks house, and I'm fairly certain they'd be happy to get rid of them, so I might pop back over there at the weekend.

    Lessons learned: those books are very heavy. For starters, don't bring a PHB, because everyone else will. Nick one of theirs if you need to refer to something. Better maps and proper counters (though I liked using M&M's and I think it was fun - impractical, though). Be more ruthless with your rolls. I fudged a pair of critical rolls that would have killed someone into one critical and a miss, purely because I didn't want anyone having their first character killed in the first session, but I think even if he'd died the party would have revived him soon enough.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Arasaki wrote: »
    Without getting into a book discussion, Drizzt is still alive according to The Orc King :P

    Would that be "Many-Arrows?" I'm still not clear if that's just the name of the area, or if it's also the name of their King.

    And damn Bogart, that sounds like a really awesome place to hold a game.

    The pub (well, as close as I can get to one in 'Merica) in my area actually would be kinda neat... and me and one of the other players are buddies with the bartender...

    Damn it would be nice to be able to order a plate of sausages and a Smithwick's while playing D&D. :P

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • SAW776SAW776 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I just finished up running the Barrow of the Ogre King, and that second encounter nearly dropped a couple of my PCs. That pair of cleavers is brutal.

    The next room is much easier, so be aware of that (you might want to add more to it, maybe?) I had a dragonborn warlord whip out a breath weapon and take out almost all the rotters in one go, before they even made it past the portcullis.

    The room after that can be fun, but my PCs did a lot better there than in the first barrow fight. They pushes one of the Soldiers onto the teleportation disk to get rid of him for a while, and threw the hexer into the pit before he could really do anything.

    The High Shaman proceeded to wreck them all, however, and they then were forced to run for their lives. He's a fucking terror.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    PSN: SAW776
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, my PC's managed to negotiate with the High Shaman, because they were interested in how far along he was in his "ritual" and made the appropriate skill checks (I raised the DC's though... 10 seemed a bit low).

    Once they discovered that he was doing something completely ineffectual they bartered him the totem from the shop in exchange for him keeping his minions in check until the return of the Ogre King. :P

    I sorta turned into an impromptu social skill challenge.

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    Oh man, playing D&D in a pub would be pretty awesome. The meetup group I'm in gets together at the huge public library downtown, which is pretty cool - there are some nice quiet rooms and they have a cafe that serves the best club sandwiches I've ever had - but the place is hobo central and it gets awkward and annoying having gin-soaked elderly men come up and stand directly behind you, slackjawed, staring at the table or asking if they can get into the "dice game."

    I'm looking over Scepter Tower and it actually seems really cool - although admittedly I'm fond of the trope of having a bunch of strangers thrown together in a mysterious, scary place, each with their own dark secret or reason for being there. The level 2 thing isn't that huge a problem as the tower is located just down the road from Loudwater, so presumably it is meant to be run right on the heels of the stuff in the FRCG.

  • SAW776SAW776 Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Well, I had someone playing a char who was very.. uh.. not stable, might be the word?

    In the room before the Shaman, they whittled down to one soldier then he basically makes an intimidate roll and says "Surrender or Die!" But he had spent the whole fight running around and hiding, and this is a soldier who is serving a necromancer/possibly a god. So I was like.. "No.. that's not going to work." And instead had the hobgoblin feign surrender then club the PC and attempt to drown him in the fountain.

    I thought it was. The rest of the party thought it was fun. The target..not so much. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    But then when they got to the Shaman, while the rest of the party was trying to negotiate, he just runs up and attacks. And then, when one of the PCs almost managed to re-stabalize the situation, the one guy attacked again. And afterwards he was just like "Well, I tried diplomacy before and it blew up in my face!"

    It's like.. "Surrender or Die" isn't exactly diplomacy, man.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    PSN: SAW776
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hm...

    I'm seeing a tie in between Spellguard (based on the preview of the first page) and Draigurroch. That could be interesting.
    Spoiler:

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Sorry to cross-post but I realized this might be more relevant to the FR thread than DnD General.
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    SAW776 wrote: »
    I really want to run the Fool's Grove delve. It looks like it's runnable..or am I just missing something?



    I'm planning on it too. It seems legit (by which i mean runnable and appropriate for those levels).



    I'm actually going to work it into "Menace of the Icy Spire" for my FR dealie.


    Spoiler:

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Your challenge with this if you want to tie those adventures together is the levels. Spellguard and that adventure overlap in levels, so you need to make one lower than the other or limit the EXP so your PCs end up the right level for Spellgard, but not much higher. Spellgard has the odd highish level encounter (a couple of early EL 5 encounters for example), but I don't think will be particularly easy to raise the levels of in a hurry. I personally would run the dungeon one at level 1 and bring the PCs to level 2 or 2.5, then move onto running StoS.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That's the idea.

    If my haphazard calculations are correct they'll be at about 2.5 when they hit Spellguard (they've finished Ogre King and are working on Icy Spire now).

    If not I shall make the numbers correct.

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Aye, that order sounds like a reasonable plan. After the barrow my party will be about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to level 2, then after taking out the bandit camp and the Lady of Shadows they'll nudge over into level 2. Running Icy Spire will probably get them most, but hopefully not all, of the way to level 3, which is when I'll either run Spellguard or do something else (raiding the keep on the earthmote or whatever).

    The party's getting invited to Moonfire's ball after returning from the barrow, and I thought the evening itself would make a nice skill challenge. Little rules of etiquette while eating, the dances, the proper social nuances of high society, all these taken together could be made into a skill challenge the whole party could do. I need to think more about it, but I reckon it could work.

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