Monday, February 5, 2024

Emirikol, Seeding the Setting

While the players were doing the character creation, I dug through all my old Dungeon Adventures magazines. So much of the early DA output had specialized set ups: seldom presented a dungeon, you got whole new cities with politics key to the plot, or massive back stories to explain why the dungeon was there and why PCs were entering it now. This often felt like a sunk cost where once the DM went through all this you couldn’t really not do the thing. By sorting through these first and building the campaign around them I resolve those issues and seed the city/surroundings with them. Below are the adventures I had to play with (skipping the Spelljammer, OA, or other obviously inappropriate ones): 

Dungeon Adventures #7

·       Nightshade by Nigel Findely: a nobleman hoping to avoid a scandal hires the PCs to get a potion from a slightly mad wizard in his magical workshop. This blessedly doesn’t have any city name.

·       Tortles of the Purple Sage part 2 by Merle and Jackie Rasmussen: continuation of an overland adventure it contains a trading post for the PCs to visit and clues to three chaos ruins.

·       The Matchmakers by Patti Elrod: business and romantic backstabbing between three merchant families in the port city of Povero, the PCs are made unwitting dupes of one of them.

·       The Jingling Mordo Circus by Vic Broquard: This is a mess – evil circuses with 20th level wizards! –  but the core concept of chaos cultists kidnapping people during a festival isn’t bad.

Dungeon Adventures #8

·       Mountain Sanctuary by John Nephew: a massive dump of dead NPC backstory to justify a small chaos crypt. But the crypt works for me, full of diminutive threats to give it a different feel.

·       For a Lady’s Honor by Estes Hammons: there’s a merchant committing blackmail for sexual favors in an inland trading post town; the PCs are hired to steal back the blackmail materials.

·       In Defense of the Law by Carl Sargent: the coastal town of Ranaan needs PCs to stop cultists from destroying a community protecting artifact, complicated by a group of Lawful Evil NPC allies.

·       The Wounded Worm by Thomas M. Kane: Crippled dragon on Sparock peninsula seeks restoration via magic. A higher-level threat for the PCs; the dragon is a good non-chaos threat.

Dungeon Adventures #9

·       The Lurkers in the Library by Patricia Elrod: Ferrantino’s was once overrun by chaos, its library thought lost… but actually hidden in tunnels under the building – tunnels found by beast-men!

·       The Crypt of Istaris by Richard Fichera: This is the Ur-text for a chaos crypt, but I can’t use it because I used it previously with these players.

Dungeon Adventures #12

·       Light of Lost Souls by Nigel Findley: sheltering from a winter storm near abandoned Ravenglass, the PCs are drawn into a ghostly melodrama of lighthouses, obsessions, and pirate ghosts.

·       At The Spottle Parlor by Rick Swan: The PCs are invited to a no-limit gambling game with a retired master thief; things take a turn when hobgoblin slavers turn up to take the players as winnings.

·       Huddle Farm by Willie Walsh: Halfling peasant farmers turn to PCs for help as odd events and family rivalries cut into their livelihood.

Dungeon Adventures #19

·       By the Wayside by Tm Villademoros: a hag and a vampire fog are luring people to their death in the marshes; can the PCs figure out the threat and deal with it?

·       The Serpents Tooth by Nigel Findley: an assassin pretending to be Scornbul secret police hires the PCs to case a targets bar/home for him, and the targets are skilled adventurers.

·       Encounter in the Wildwood by Willie Walsh: two Cyclopskin bandits, a boggle, a quickling, and 4 needlemen are bandits ambushing people on a forest trail.

·       House of Cards by Randy Maxwell: two rival thieves guilds in Westgate are at war for territory, but one is also a chaos cult. Plus there’s a deck of many things in a really dumb way.

Dungeon Adventures #32

·       Hermes Bridge by Timothy Leech: a damaged, ancient bridge, the dwarven engineers that study it, a rogue stone golem that guards it, and, of course, trolls.

·       Changeling by R. Nathaniel Waldbauer: a white dragon moved into a mountain pass, but it’s actually an albino red dragon.

·       Pearlman’s Curiosity by Willie Walsh: Strange doings in the town of Gridley Crossing, where a wizard has captured a Nilbog, a goblin who makes everyone act in reverse.

·       Is there an Elf in the House? By Rafael Fay & Dan DeFazio: Winter storms keep the PCs in the haunted home of a newly married but grievously ill nobleman outside the town of Maykel.

Dungeon Adventures #36

·       Asflag’s Unintentional Emporium by Willie Walsh: Politics and death between the wizards in the city of Serin – the slightly mad Asflag, Ednoc the Short, Mirim Galeweather & Tullinen Grimm.

·       Troll Bridge by William S. Dean: a gnome illusionist bandit has set up an extortion racket on an isolated bridge… and just burned down a bigger bridge to get more traffic!

·       Granite Mountain Prison by Roger Baker: A theocratic high counsel is crushing a rebellion in Interlaken; the PCs are hired to rescue resistance leaders from an inescapable prison.

Dungeon Adventures #39

·       Below Vulture Point by Jeff Fairbourne: PCs recover the medicine of the ailing nobleman Randamis Ambleer from the raiders who stole it – said raiders are kobolds riding giant vultures.

·       Last of the Iron House by Jasper Jones: Pirates and evil sea monsters plot to destroy the reputation of a troublesome noble by using his double to commit crimes in the city of Mirago.

·       The Fountain of Health by Ann Dupuis: A straightforward ruined building turns into a labyrinth in the jungle setting, which might be re-skinned a little for a collapsed chaos estate.  

·       Legerdemain by Matthew Shcutt: Strange things are afoot at the city’s (blessedly an unnamed city!) great theater, run by Keurin Earntor and his vain daughter Tivity

Dungeon Adventures #114:

·       Mad God’s Key by Jason Bulmahn: the theft of a magical key starts a quest including dockside chases, a diseased gang, and cultists in a mountain temple bisected by a river of blood.


Finally, WotC had a lot of D&D 3.0 support on their website which I downloaded and suirreled away:

·       A Dark and Stormy Knight by Owen K.C Stevens, 2005: sheltering in a cave from a winter storm the PCs find that it is actually the crypt of a warrior from the last great war.

·       Wreck Ashore by Robert Wise, 2004: Pirates in the Seawell swamps killed a lighthouse keeper and are luring ships to crash with a false light until the PCs cross the swamp to stop them.

·       The Alchemist’s Eyrie by Edward Bolme, 2001: Dwarvish alchemists in a highly fortified stone tower in the mountains.

·       House of Harpies by Owen K C Stevens, 2001: harpies make use of a strange tree tower as their base of operations.

·       The Ministry of Winds by Monte Cooke, 2001: a long-inaccessible wizard’s tower is opened, revealing mad cultists, minotaurs, and extra-dimensional observers.

This netted an array of intrigue/mystery city adventures built on family/business/guild rivalries, several adventures with pirates and swamps and lighthouses, and strangely a couple of adventures bridges with troll issues. There even a couple of dungeons to be chaos crypts, but since 2E Dungeon Magazine had so much on “getting out of the dungeon” I didn’t find as many as I liked. More next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment