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Rappan Athuk is a great megadungeon that supports all levels of play (though if you have heavy optimizers, they may find some stuff fairly easy) in the old-school style. It is a deadly dungeon full of critters, traps, evil clerics and demons. There is a pretty robust background that has several ties to events and places in the Lost Lands (the Frog's campaign setting) but it can just as easily be dropped in to any campaign setting.

The outlying areas around Rappan Athuk - in particular the village of Zelkor's Ferry and the recently discovered Mouth of Doom dungeon are the perfect place to start out your fresh meat... er ... characters. All of this is available in the main book.

As noted, the Expansions book also contains several areas of low to moderate level - the main book has more than enough to keep any party happy though.

Bring extra character sheets, and remind the players, "Don't go down the well!"


I have a player who is interested in playing a Knight. We're currently based in and around the Starcrag Foothills region. Does anyone know of any knightly orders that would be present in that area?


From what I understand, QoD3 is the adventures from the environment books (Fields of Blood, Dunes of Desolation). These were PF only, so this new book will be conversions of the adventures (but not the rules?).


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...or the long awaited S&W conversion of Slumbering Tsar ;)


I'm in! Looking forward to this one. As a big S&W fan, I'm glad to see these adventures get the old school treatment.


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Haven't had a chance to delve into the previews yet, but on the surface looks good. Is the Blight set within the Lost Lands?


Wasn't there talk of an update of the S&W Core book and a Tsar conversion (or did I dream that?)


Sweet!


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Sword of Air is so good it boggles the mind. I've been running it in Swords and Wizardry format, in combination with Stoneheart Valley for the last seven months and the players and I are having a blast.

There is so much there, and yet for an enterprising Referee, there is so much you can expand upon to make it your own. No campaign using this as it's base will be exactly the same.

Bravo Bill!


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I always try to not get too specific at first. Using the example above, when prepping a homebrew game, I would do something like this:

"As you open the door, your attention is diverted by five screaming, bloodthirsty bugbears. You get a dim sensation of the room, torchlit and carpeted with a strange blue light emanating from a table and dried stains on the walls."

After that, outside of boxed text, usually in brief bullet points I note special features, and hidden items / effects:

- the blue light is coming from an axe covered in a strange metallic mesh
- The carpet is old and smells of mildew
- The stains are obviously blood, and a holy symbol of Lammashtu hangs nearby

- Under the rug, or with a DC 15 perception check, a PC can find a secret compartment in the floor with 274 gp in it.


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#5


Skeeter Green wrote:

the first 3 chapters will be out this year. Hopefully soon, but Other Things keep pushing to the front of the line.

SG

Good to hear! Really looking forward to this.


Any updates on the upcoming kickstarters?


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If the party gets to Bards Gate or the twin shrines they can hear through various means (via the magic armor under the temple of Muir or a temple in BG) about the Stone of Tircople. This is a good starter quest in the old burial halls (Tomb of Abysthor). They could find that and the Chalice and return them for safekeeping.

The exploration of the dungeon alone is likely to lead to a couple of points where the PC's seriously start to question where these bad guys are from and why they're there. You can then incorporate things like the connection to Rappan Athuk, the Earthblood, and other hooks.

Basically, get them in the dungeon and reward them with more information when they go looking for it.


Thanks for all the info Greg. Is there a timeline on the S&W conversion of ST?


Steve Geddes wrote:
Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
P.S. It is not what I was talking about earlier, but just to let you know we will be releasing an S&W conversion of Slumbering Tsar shortly. I don't think it will be a KS, though. Skeeter has been working on it for some time and knows the details on it. I'm working on the foreword for it right now, so it should be popping up very soon. :-)
That is phenomenal news! Awesome. :)

Best news I've heard all day!

*starts saving pennies*


Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
There's actually one that should be launching in/around Gen Con, but it's a specifically Swords & Wizardry thing rather than a Lost Lands thing. It should be popping up soon.

Any update on this?


Bill Webb wrote:

I suggest Stoneheart Valley series (Crucible et al) to get them started. Heck, there could be easy-import clues in the shadow-wizard's lair, for example.

This one is intended to be a long, long journey...

This is similar to how we've gone about it. My group finished the Crucible quest and a few overland lairs - and I story-lined in several reasons for them to go to the old Burial Halls (Tomb of Abysthor). They've played around with that, but the biggest thing that's tied it in to the overall arc is their connection to Kayden.

We play S&W so spells are much more rare to come across. The magic users (we have two) have hooked up with Kayden

Spoiler:
who is pretending to be a good guy, and using illusions to cover the worst of his depravity - much of which he doesn't even know about thanks to Steve. Currently he has cast a Geas on the party druid, and they now know that they need to go after Sorten at some point - Kayden has told them what an evil wizard Sorten is, so they'r up for it.

who helps them along with spells, identifications, sage work, etc in return for doing jobs for him. Gathering rare components, things of that nature. Definitely going to be a long game here, this won't be over anytime soon.


Yea, I'm pretty sure they did, just hoping. My homebrew conversion is pretty thin yet ;)


I just realized it said S&W but not necessarily Lost Lands. Still, exciting! When can we expect to hear more about this one?


A S&W specific kickstarter.... ooooh!

perhaps...

Spoiler:
a Slumbering Tsar conversion??

Or am I just dreaming ;)

Either way, looking forward to it. Would still love to see a compilation for players and / or Referees that included all the expanded stuff (races / classes / spells / items) from the various FGG titles.


Bards Gate is a long ways away from Endhome and the Lost City of Barakus, but Rappan Athuk and Zelkor's Ferry are a bit closer. As is Stoneheart Mountain Dungeon. I'd highly recommend checking those out for options to get your PC's a couple of levels before diving headlong into SoA.


There will be a few spoilers in the following so, I'll cover some of this up just in case. I'll caveat that I'm running this in Swords and Wizardry so Challenge Rating, ECL, things like that are all very vague on my end.

The main hook I used to get my party interested (and they don't even know they're on part of the storyline yet) is power. I have two magic users in the group who are hungry for more spells - you get them at a much slower rate in S&W than PF. The group has been spending time in Stoneheart Valley (a great starter adventure for this, imo)... After some digging, the PC's caught wind of a magic user who may be willing to trade services for spells (get your mind out of the gutter - QUESTS!)

Spoiler:

Thus far the party has taken the time to go to Stoneheart Forest and meet with Kayden. Check out Kaydens chapter in the book by the way. It feels out of place, being near the middle, but it's actually a decent place to start. There's a lot of interesting material there besides just "he's an evil wizard who thinks he's the good guy". I had his Ogre Mage butler escort the PC's to his mansion under cover of illusion so they wouldn't get the whole 'evil wizard' vibe. While there, they were able to talk Kayden into letting them do a couple of quests for him. Being a wizard who's holed up in his evil swamp, it's nice for him to have some PC's on the outside doing his bidding.
What's really nice (from a DM perspective) is that Kayden can give quests that are optional for the party. It gives them a) something to do b) without forcing them to do it. And Kayden has the resources to reward them.

The first quest I had Kayden give them was to bring the broken vial from Eralion's Crypt (in the Ruined Keep outside of Fairhill - Stoneheart Valley). It's a win-win. Kayden gets something to study, the PC magic users get a low level spellbook.

Other options - gather spell components, manticore eggs, find out what the priests are up to in Stoneheart Mountain Dungeon, bring dust from the edge of the Blight, things like that. Remember, it's a very open world, and the PCs should feel free to accept or deny any quests. They're doing this for their own advancement in both power and wealth (and coincidentally, Kayden's too!).

Later on though, as the party gains in power and influence, he can start sending them on more specific missions. Eventually leading up to the point where he either feels confident enough in them or fears them enough to Geas them into attacking Sorten the "evil wizard". Who is actually a good wizard. And that will bring about it's own set of adventures. He may even tell them that Sorten knows where the Sword of Air is. Or at least that he thinks Sorten knows where the Sword is. And that it can be used to save the world! (so Steve says anyway).

Regardless, I find it's best in a sandbox to remember that the PC's can and will go where they want. Keep throwing out hooks... not all at once, you don't want to overwhelm them, but each session make sure they know all the options. It's not a railroad. More like Skyrim. The main quest is there, but you can ignore it and still have a really good time.


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Hope everyone is getting as much use out of SoA as I am. I've thus far introduced the characters to Kayden who took them on for missions - pay equals spell scrolls and old spellbooks for the magic users. As for Kayden:

Spoiler:
I've played him up as a little creepy, but not overly evil. I have definitely made sure to introduce Steve however, and let the players realize there's a relationship there. Though, of course, Kayden thinks he's the on in charge.

So far, combining this with Stoneheart Valley has made for some great adventure material for the characters. There's so much to do.


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One of the best things about RA is its modularity. You can use bits and pieces for a portion of an adventure or let the PC's use it as it's own sandbox. What's great is that it's large enough that it is it's own sandbox!

That being said - it is very much old school. There are places where the structure of the PF game breaks down a bit and that old school "one troll in this encounter, 2 liches in the next" takes over. I honestly feel it runs better in S&W that PF as the encounter level fluctuations are a little less severe (and it seems a little more expected in a system where gp = xp and tricking / stealing / running are much more common practice than wading in, swords flashing).


Unfortunately had to drop out. If things look up by the weekend, I may jump back in.


Just got my hard copy yesterday - this is a beautiful book, and great adventure! I got the S&W version.

Had a quick question (spoilers, obviously), and wanted to make sure I was on the right track...

Spoiler:
The PC's are enticed to work for Kayden (either through Geas or other options), but Kayden's hideout just screams 'not a good wizard'. If not magically enticed, how would you play up Kayden being the 'good guy' that he thinks he is?


Sounds like a fun game!


Glad to see the adventures will still get converted. :)


Is there a S&W version of Fields of Blood? Or is that PF only?


Greg, how do you pronounce Foere? Is it "fore / four" or more like "foe-err"?


I'm still digesting Razor Coast. It's different, for sure, in both theme / story and presentation. The setting itself I'm enjoying quite a bit, but the presentation throws me off some. I haven't read the pathfinder version yet, so I'm not sure how that stacks up.


I got one of the $100 boxes earlier this year. Came with the S&W versions of Razor Coast, one night stands and several of the Necromancer Games books. Still one of the best deals out there if you like the old 3e NG stuff. I like the randomness of it.


I'm sure this has been covered, I just don't see it right off hand - will Cults of the Sundered Kingdom be released in S&W format as well as PF?


Cool. Just hadn't heard in a while (or if I did, I forgot - that happens!) so thought I'd ask.

Thanks!


Any updates on Sword of Air?


Brain Collectors turned out really nice. Dominate Person, along with the Brain Extraction could be brutal! :)


Bilgreskechumat is awesome! Makes me think of an obscure demon lord, similar to Blibdoolpoolp.


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Some gnome gnames I've always preferred:

Bancobb the Wise

Brustle or Bristle Brinderfork

Arcadle

Jasper

Aqualis the Short


Wow! Great start, I'll be using some (most) of this!


Wow, that's wild. Seeing some of the prices online, I suppose many of them were never opened to keep the value up. Kinda sad, really. That's a great marketing tool.


Bill Webb wrote:

Rappan Athuk Reloaded had 5 golden tickets out of 1000 boxes--various prizes including 1 that was free product for life. Only one has been found-uniquely signed "Orcus and Tsathogga" instead of "Bill and Clark". The other 4 are still out there in a (probably) unopened copy.

FGG will honor golden tickets from Necromancer. One was free pdfs for life, one was free books for life, one was a trip to a Con (all expenses paid except airfare) and the last I forget wgat I wrote on the ticket (its been 8 years).

Out of sheer curiosity, did the rest of the golden tickets ever get claimed?


That was my thought too, but I wasn't sure.


I like the rune quest update! - how do we know if we were in the first five?


I don't see anything on on them in the S&W version either... I believe that the last time I ran this I just had them as simple 10' covered pits.


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My biggest problem with Tsar is getting the PC's to want to go there. How have people been working that? Interspersing missions? "slay all evil"? Meta storylines?

I'm giving serious thought to my S&W conversion of this and want to be able to plant the seeds long before the PC's go there.


Shiroi, I'd hesitate to ban anything. RA is incredibly dangerous, so players using their abilities to their full extent will only save them so many times. Remember, the bad guys are smart too and once seen can use like tactics against the party. Don't forget, as well, that while the dwarf paladin is sending his little buddy scouting, the rest of the party is just standing around. That's where random encounter checks come in handy.

Don't neuter smart play, just remember that the DM has plenty of options as well. :) Just my 2 cp.


The Swords and Wizardry version has level 2A marked as equivalent dungeon level 2. I haven't looked at the PF version in a while. For comparison, Level 2 (Marthek's Place & Ambros' Base) is EDL 5.


Probably wouldn't be too bad... You'd just have to roll instead of fold.


Greg, thanks for the insight into the schedule. It's great to see how much material is in the works!

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