I like the idea of Ahazu kidnapping whole planets, and starting with layers of the abyss. Perhaps the PCs can even prevent such a kidnapping.
The plot has gotten more complex, as it seems Orgosh will become involved with Ahazu and end up either imprisoned in one of the wells, or as a kind of avatar or aspect of Ahazu. This is all the result of one of my players messing around with miracles. High-level campaigns are such fun ! :-)
Fun to hear what happened to the pearls in your campaigns. It is one of those iconic moments of the STAP.
Yes, she has been sacrificed to Glasya. The LE PC has an ancestor who is LG and is only going to help the group if this PC negotiates with her patron devil for the release of this soul (and some others the PC sacrificed earlier, such as her own paladin brother - this PC is the black sheep of a LG family).
Nice incidental detail: among Hessa's possessions was a fingerbone which once belonged to Avner Meravanchi (this was the only thing left of him when he was eaten by terror birds on the Isle of Dread). Hessa had taken it in order to ressurrect Avner at some time in the future, preferably in order to get something from his family.
Now her NPC friend has taken all her possessions in order to give them to her followers (her temple). Except for this fingerbone, as he will be handing it back to the Meravanchis. (This NPC was a good friend of Manthalay). So guess who will be brought back to life soon :-)
PC: Hessa, female human cleric (LN)
Because half my group is evil and the whole group has been played pretty ruthlessly so far, I introduced a plotline that they had to sacrifice a friend in order to gain the tooth of Shami-Amourae. The sacrifice had to be voluntary as well, so they had to convince him.
I did not see this one coming at all. The player afterwards told me that he didn't either. He improvised it on the spot.
Cosmic horror is a good idea. I was even thinking along the lines of the Cthulhu mythos.
What I noticed running this adventure was that the players had no problem at all with the pirates. The captains and the other leaders made for the interesting fight.
Yes, indeed. I meant Serpents of Scuttlecove.
41. After that episode with the sheep, the town kicked all of you out.
I actually know a group where this really happened in the campaign.
361. We are all partners in crime.
PC: Davidia, female half-orc fighter/barbarian
Into the maw ended with a bang in my campaign (literally when you count the exploding balor in his death throes): it ended with a massive battle between two large armies, one led by S'Sharra and Belshamoth and a lot of demons, and the other led by the PCs, Lillianth, Saureya and Orgosh and his undead. It was a memorable evening.
Finally the filth demons were killed and fed to Lazruvakas, the magma drake (named Francis by my players).
Consider showing Vanthus on board ship the next time that they scry. Show them the whole fleet that is sailing to Farshore. My players scried the fleet, and were considering teleporting aboard, but shied away from it when they saw the vrocks and yuan-ti. And if they teleport aboard anyway, or sail towards the fleet, reward them with an exciting fight.
You could also involve Emraag. If the players spot Emraag near the ships, they probably remain at Farshore.
Or otherwise reward them with a rumor that demons will be teleporting to Farshore (and let one or two demons teleport in during the battle). Give them the idea that, if they go to Scuttlecove, they will leave Farshore undefended, and they will probably decide to defend Farshore.
I have adapted Molypente as follows:
Yes, that is probably the only possibility. It would be the only thing Molypente can do against her anyway. His poison theoretically works against her, but he has to bite her first, and that is nearly impossible with her AC (he has to roll a natural 20). And then she will always save against the poison. Choking does not work either, as I have already mentioned.
As I have already described above, I am thoroughly rewriting WOD. Now I have discovered another mistake I have not yet read about on this forum: (remember, spoilers!)
Shami-Amourae is immune to mind-affecting effects. How on earth (or how in the Abyss) is it possible for Molypente to dominate her? This should be a mind-affecting effect if it is anything like the dominate spell. If not, then what is it? How does it work? I know that Molypente works like an intelligent item with an ego, but this still means that it is mind-affecting, doesn't it? if a battle between egos is not mind-affecting, then what is? This should be more than a mere intimidate duel, don't you think?
I have decided to replace the bar-lguras on retrievers (bar-lguras again? Retrievers again?) with augmented armanites. After all, they can air walk above the Styx water, and they can transport victims to the Abyss as well. Unconscious. On their backs.
This is such a nice thread to read. I have been running the STAP for a while and have made newspapers from the beginning of the campaign (we are at Into the Maw now). My players love it. I thought I was the only one doing this.
What I do for pictures:
For articles I also used the following ideas:
I hope you can use these. Unfortunately I am not so well known with Shackled City that I can give you more specific content. I have read it really a long time ago. Good luck with the newspaper!
It so happens that some of the PCs have vile damage. Since they have no good cleric, the only one who can heal it is a trumpet archon they have freed from the prison. She can do a consecrate or hallow in order to heal it. Wouldn't it be nice if the PC who wants to become a death knight, has to sacrifice the angel, preferably before it has the chance of healing the vile damage? :-)
I like the idea of the alicorn, too. And of bringing the organs of a cleric of the opposite alignment as well. (The PC was originally from a family of famous LG clerics, descended from a LG saint. However, she rebelled in puberty and sacrificed a girl in the woods near her home. She has already sacrificed her own brother, a paladin.)
My PC group in Savage Tide is far from good-aligned. One of them is even lawful evil. Now a fun incident happened in the latest sessions. We are in Into the maw.
The PCs are negotiating with Orgosh. They are talking about his long service under Demogorgon. Orgosh tells something about being involved in creating the first death knights, and that Vanthus does not fit the mold. LE PC asks: "So you know how to make death knights?" Orgosh: "Yes!" LE PC: "Can you change me into a death knight?" Orgosh: "Yes!"
In other words, now the LE PC is going to become a death knight! The character has been played such that it is strangely appropriate, and it is also strangely fitting for the end of the campaign.
I want to make this a transformation akin to a prestige class, so that the PC will be fully changed at the end of the campaign. But I also think this transformation should not be easy. So I want to think up a dark ritual, preferably taking place in several stages. Perhaps an innocent should be sacrificed every time the PC gains new abilities. Perhaps she should drain a bit of her own blood every day.
Savage fever?? Lemorian template?? Vile rigidity??
There also was a drug-like plant on the Isle of Dread, I have forgotten the name. I think it caused a rage effect. You can make the idol not magical at all (your PCs will probably investigate it with spells), but filled with plant spores slowly drifting out of it in the air.
Im my campaign world I have introduced a storyline that some deities are legal deities and some are illegal. There is an inquisition that relentlessly persecutes the followers of illegal deities. The head inquisitor has actually been corrupted by a lilitu demon, who was sent by the demon Alvarez the Purging Duke (from the appendix of Fiendish Codex I). In my campaign Alvarez is the son of Graz'zt and Shami-Amourae, one more reason for Demogorgon to be angry with Shami.
At the moment I am sort of rewriting this adventure, with a lot of stuff from my own campaign world added. I used 2 demonic characters from 2 earlier campaigns, whom the players know (but the characters don't). I also introduced Athux, Graz'zt's son, and gave him a half-brother with whom he is at war, in order to make the plotline with Graz'zt somewhat more interesting.
I have put this under a spoiler button, as it is for DMs only.
On page 61 of the adventure it says: "She [Red Shroud] informs the PCs that the tooth [of Ahazu] was recently sold to a varrangoin outcast named Sutolore". Actually it is the other way round in the sidebar in Sea Wyvern's Wake: Sutolore tries to sell the tooth to a lilitu demon agent of Malcanthet in Broken Reach, and thus it comes to the attention of Malcanthet, who then recruits Sutolore to put the item in the cave of Zotzilaha and take the bat statue away with him to Tamoachan. Just so that you know and can avoid awkward PC questions.
I wondered if Sidith-Yeus actually can possess someone at this level. Did this happen in any of your campaigns? If so, how did this play out? How long before the PCs discovered what happened?
I was thinking of replacing him with a stronger demon, sent by one of the other demon princes. He could ride along in the body of a PC and then suddenly take over the body when Demogorgon has been defeated and claim the throne for his master. I will be using the possession rules from Fiendish Codex I in this case.
I will probably make this a succubus with class levels, or a marilith, with the possession ability as per Fiendish Codex I.
Thanks for all the input everybody.
One of my players is playing a LN cleric worshiping purity. She is looking for a cohort and I would like to give her a special cohort, especially an outsider. What creature would do? Most LN outsiders, such as formians, are simply too warlike for the role. So I am thinking of using an axiomatic version of some kind of other creature. Any ideas?
My group started with 6 characters (who played till Tides of Dread) and I adapted the encounters just to be sure. However, not all of them. Some I left as they are and the campaign was certainly not a pushover and my players kept a healthy dose of apprehension.
Also do not forget that if you divide the XP over 6 characters, the level progression will be slower, so that, except for the first few encounters, the group level will be slightly too low for the encounters. This is the self-correcting mechanism for the campaign, and will probably compensate for the fact that there are 6 characters in the group.
Do not forget there is tons of things you could do with monsters like Burbalarg and Xiureksor - they could be cult leaders as well and perhaps linked to the yuan-ti in some way.
From Into the maw onwards you could probably run Savage Tide as written. Though it is a nice option to let defeated opponents recur as petitioners (or something else) in the abyss to keep the connection with the previous adventures.
And what about making Burbalarg, Xiureksor, etc. fiendish creatures or half-fiends?
As for the lightless depths: they do not have to destroy the tear, it is only one option. If you want to make it less railroady, just introduce another high-level creature with a totally different agenda, who manipulates the group in another direction altogether, so that they have to choose.
Ghosts might be a good idea, yes. Especially because I have the kinds of players who always try to communicate with ghosts.
In the module it is suggested that Vanthus can command the undead because he is a death knight, so it does not really matter whether the ghosts blame him or not, they just have no choice but to do his bidding. Perhaps it is even more fun if they do blame him, but cannot do anything about it.
I also like the "battle for control of the undead" between Vanthus and Orgosh and would like to keep that aspect intact. Especially because one of the PCs is a blackguard, who can rebuke undead, which makes this even more interesting :-)
You can find Savage Tide in Dungeon Magazine, issues 139-150. Most of them are available as PDFs, but perhaps not all of them, so you will have to check that first.
I have put the campaign info under a spoiler button:
The campaign is roughly about pirates, dinosaurs and demons. It involves a plot by Demogorgon to unleash the savage tide, which consists of spreading chaos across the world by exploding black pearls, which spread a disease called Savage Fever. The group starts in the city of Sasserine, where they are hired by Lavinia Vanderboren, a noble lady. It turns out that her brother has turned evil and later on he appears to be working for the Crimson Fleet, pirates who work for Demogorgon. From Sasserine the PCs travel to Kraken's Cove, where they witness an outbreak of Savage Fever. Then they rescue Lavinia from bullywugs. Then Lavinia wants to travel to a colony established by her (now dead) parents and the group travels along with their own ship. They have a lengthy sea journey to the Isle of Dread, where their ship is shipwrecked. They have a trek across the island with the survivors and are attacked by dinosaurs and demons along the way. When they finally arrive in the colony, it is attacked by Lavinia's brother Vanthus and the Crimson Fleet. After defeating them, the PCs get the chance to explore the Isle of Dread, and Thanaclan, the ancient Olman city. There they discover Demogorgon's plans. Then Vanthus returns from the dead as a death knight and kidnaps Lavinia. The PCs follow him to the pirate city of Scuttlecove, where they can defeat the Crimson Fleet, and then to the Abyss, where they can defeat Vanthus again and free Lavinia. Then they get involved in the politics of the Abyss and a daring plan to finally defeat Demogorgon, which they do in the end (hopefully).
This is a very varied and exciting campaign and I hope that it is still available. It is also very complex, so be sure to read through all the adventures before you run it. There is also a lot of interesting information about it on this forum.