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Eberron adventure in issue 147 question.


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion


Hi all,

I have only skimmed over the adventures in issue 147.

My gaming taste, and that of my gaming groups, is for low to mid-level adventures, so the 17th level part of the Adventure Path holds no real allure for me.

The last part of the Greyhawk 3-parter is somewhat of interest, but the lynchpin to my buying this issue or not rests with the lower level Eberron adventure.

Since I do not own or use the Eberron setting, I am wondering how easily the adventure can be converted to a generic setting.

Thanks in advance to anyone who offers their thoughts.


My initial impression? I think it would be fairly difficult to translate into a standard D&D campaign world. Although the intro says "can be easily adapted to characters of lower level or other settings" I'm skeptical. It looks like an Eberron-flavored version of a modern bank heist. I could more easily imagine adapting it to a Firefly type RPG than standard D&D. But I also prefer lower level adventures, so I'm hoping others here will prove me wrong. :-)


I converted an Ebberon adventure, "The Lightning Rail" to regular D&D without even really trying. I had to alter some races (Changelings - don't even know what that is), adjust one of the main adversaries (Gendry was some kind of mechanical wizard dude)and add some additional setup to explain the actual rail system and how it fit into my game. Overall it was pretty easy and the players enjoyed the slightly different texture of the module.

Taldor Contributor

As long as you are willing to accept that there are a group of dwarves that run a bank in your setting, it shouldn't be too hard to convert.

That said, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to use the adventure pretty much as is, other than changing the locations etc. The stat blocks tell you everything you need to know to run them.

The second would be to change over the npc stats etc, replacing feats and classes that are Eberron specific. It's a lot more work, but there are lots of analogues, especially if you use any other extended source books. Frex, Complete Arcane has a lot of feats that give spell-like abilities similar to Dragonmarks.

A middle ground would be to replace npcs with others that you have stats for from other resources. I frequently do this with Dungeon; I steal statblocks from one adventure to modify another one quickly.

The dealbreaker is the concept; if you don't want a bank in your setting, it's pretty hard to work with. Personally, I don't feel that a bank strains the limits of most settings in the same way as say, the lightning rail would.

I'd be happy to help with the conversion if you like.

Craig Shackleton


I thought it was a simple but well executed little adventure that could work easily outside of Eberron, especially in urban locales like Greyhawk or Waterdeep. I know that I'm keeping it close at hand for possible use in my homebrew.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kelvar, care to elaborate on your position? I just finished reading it, and I can't see how you could possibly think it was going to be difficult to translate into any campaign. What are your points of concern?

~Qualidar~


Qualidar wrote:

Kelvar, care to elaborate on your position? I just finished reading it, and I can't see how you could possibly think it was going to be difficult to translate into any campaign. What are your points of concern?

~Qualidar~

Well, it's hard to articulate. I guess it is sort of a two-prong problem for me. First, I don't usually have bona fide "banks" in my D&D games. The closest would be jewelers or money changers, I guess. Most wealthy NPCs protect their own wealth, it seems.

I think the other thing is that my first impression was that this mission required a certain moral ambiguity. The purpose of the mission is laudable, but it requires retrieving the item from its Lawful Neutral guardians, and possibly having to combat them. I guess I should view it as a roleplaying challenge, or as a chance for the PCs to seek an alternate solution. Maybe I just lack creativity? I don't know. Like I said, it is hard to explain. It just doesn't *feel* quite right.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Rambling Scribe wrote:
...I don't feel that a bank strains the limits of most settings in the same way as say, the lightning rail would...

Hmmm...elemental-powered train in say...Thay...

...ruins of the same in the Jungles of Chult...

...a planes-hopping coach running from Undermountain to Nerakka...


Rambling Scribe wrote:

As long as you are willing to accept that there are a group of dwarves that run a bank in your setting, it shouldn't be too hard to convert.

That said, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to use the adventure pretty much as is, other than changing the locations etc. The stat blocks tell you everything you need to know to run them.

The second would be to change over the npc stats etc, replacing feats and classes that are Eberron specific. It's a lot more work, but there are lots of analogues, especially if you use any other extended source books. Frex, Complete Arcane has a lot of feats that give spell-like abilities similar to Dragonmarks.

A middle ground would be to replace npcs with others that you have stats for from other resources. I frequently do this with Dungeon; I steal statblocks from one adventure to modify another one quickly.

The dealbreaker is the concept; if you don't want a bank in your setting, it's pretty hard to work with. Personally, I don't feel that a bank strains the limits of most settings in the same way as say, the lightning rail would.

I'd be happy to help with the conversion if you like.

Craig Shackleton

Thanks for the ideas, Craig.

Looks like I know what I will be buying on my next trip to the gaming store!

Taldor Contributor

Michael Griffith wrote:


Thanks for the ideas, Craig.

Looks like I know what I will be buying on my next trip to the gaming store!

Glad to help, and I hope you enjoy the adventure. If you want any specific help fitting it to your campaign, let me know.


Phil Mitchell wrote:
I had to alter some races (Changelings - don't even know what that is),

I'll tell you what Changelings are; they're AWSOME.

Changelings are what you play if you wanted to play a doppleganger. Except they don't eat brains (well, MOST of them don't) and have to wear clothes like everyone else.

Plus if you make a Changeling with multipe personalities (or just plain crazy) you can have something just as funny (or terrifying) as a barrel of monkeys. I made a Changeling Cleric who always tries to look like a (specific) human when he can (especially when not on an adventure) and will insist he's human even when he's told he's revealed by divination.

If you really can't get Eberron or the Races of Eberron, get the Monster Manual, Volumne 3. They're in there, with Shifters, Warforged (with Mini-Warforged!) and all kinds of cool crap.

Cheliax

I would really love to run this adventure, but it probably wouldn't be until my PC's are 11th level or so. Would something as simple as giving everyone 11 levels be enough. I think there are trained bears used as guards as well. I guess I'd have to turn them into horrid magebred dire bears.

Taldor Contributor

Actually, I wouldn'r crank up the levels of the npcs too much. The magebred black bears should be replaced with something tougher, and the animated statue and invisible stalker should be advanced or replaced (and/or have two or more of each).

The guards and other npcs should be upped a bit, but the main focus should be on beefing up the security systems. More spells like guards and wards, alarm, more traps etc. I'd also crank up the caster level on the forbiddance effect.

Also, increase the DC's for finding information, and have Solinthas give them less info to begin with. Don't lead them as directly into the outlined plan of contacting Rurin.

This shouldn't really be a combat adventure. Watch Ocean's Eleven and the Italian Job before running it. Set the scenario and let the PCs create their own strategy. Ideally, they will play to their own strengths, but avoid direct confrontation with House Kundarak.

Another complication you can add (which ended up on the editing room floor), is to have someone else breaking in for their own reasons. Or you could complicate the endgame. Or both.

Spoiler:
Originally, Rurin was intended to not betray the characters. Solinthas would warn the PCs that he did not trust Rurin, and Rurin would come accross as untrustworthy. Ideally the PCs would be wary of him.

But the real betrayal was that Solinthas hires an assassin to take out Rurin. Solinthas doesn't trust Rurin to keep quiet. The assassin breaks in on the same night as the PCs, and follows them around, and then kills Rurin as they are getting ready to leave. Rurin's tool swarm goes berserk, the PCs may feel compelled to fight the assassin (who just wants to leave now) and the noise may attract the guards. If Rurin survives the assassination attempt, he assumes the PCs are in on it (unless convinced otherwise) and then turns on them.

Solinthas pays the PCs as promised, and is willing to admit what he did and why, if confronted. His implication to the PCs is 'I couldn't trust him. Can I trust you?'

I hope I'm allowed to reveal ideas that didn't make it into the final version... 'cuz I just did!

Craig Shackleton,
The Rambling Scribe

Taldor RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Loved the adventure Craig, a bank heist is a great idea! If you don't have banks in your setting a "secure storage" facility isn't that out of the realm of possibilities.

Thus far I've really liked all of the adventure featuring House K, the prison was very cool too (though that may have been in Dragon).

- My Open Vrocks is +13

Cheliax

So the emphasis should be on making the security measures tougher rather than making the guards more challenging. One other question, I'll probably be inserting it into my Savage Tide campaign shortly after Tides of Dread. It will most likely have to be located in Scuttlecove (or what replaces Scuttlecove in Eberron) to make things work right. Does this seem too problematic?

Taldor Contributor

I haven't actually looked at Scuttlecove in a lot of detail yet. The only limitation on location I felt when desigining the bank was that it had to be a minor branch to be as small and weakly defended as it is. As you up the security, this limitation goes away, but eventually you hit the opposite problem; if the bank becomes to important, it doesn't make sense in a small community. Mind you, you can up a lot of the security without increasing the size of the bank as a business. Those Kundarak Dwarves are uptight about security. And not all of the security measures need to have been put there by local reps.

If Scuttlecove is a busy/important but dangerous town, you can easilly justify higher security. It could even be sort of like a convenience loss leader. Like the Scuttlecove branch doesn't make any money, but having it there boosts Kundarak's portfolio overall.

Hope that helps. When I get a chance, I'll look at Scuttlecove more closely.

Taldor Contributor

In another thread

Phil. L wrote:


Hi Craig. I was just passing back through the messageboards when I saw your post. I actually have a few thoughts about The Aundarian Job I'd like to share with you.

Why doesn't Solinthus tell the PCs about the ward over the bank, since he would have needed the password to gain entrance anyway? Was this just an oversight or was there a reason behind it? Also, I have problems with lawful characters funding bank robberies (which this essentially is). Why doesn't Solinthus simply tell House Kundarak about the amulet? Surely, once they knew they were dealing with a dangerous artifact they could transport it to a Temple of the Silver Flame. The rest of the adventure is cool by the way. Especially the magebred bears!

Recently the adventures in DUNGEON seem to force players to break the law, attack non-evil creatures, and side with demons and other villains. I do that often in my own campaign, but it does seem to dominate published adventures these days.

So in order: Solinthas can tell the PCs about the ward over the bank, or anyone can. It certainly isn't intended to be secret information. In fact it's information they should make sure and get before breaking in. I see the info-gathering and planning as key elements to the break-in's success

Actually, originally I had a bit describing Solinthas' own attempt to get the amulet that failed, and his desire to not let the PCs know that he had been to the bank. But it's not important.

As to Solinthas funding a bank robbery, my original concept for him was as a 'the end justifies the means' inquisitor of the Silver Flame. See the other posts in this thread for more examples of that. I had a few other options for the nature of Solinthas as well, something that could motivate the party but still have questionable ethics.

Kundarak transporting the amulet to Flamekeep... that's just not my perception of Kundarak. Who better to secure anything than them? They would lose business if they broke contracts just because something was dangerous. And legitimate heirs might object to the transaction. This just seems like something Kundarak would say no to.

Thanks for the props, and if you have more questions, let me know!

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