Best way to remove the Impossible Eye


Legacy of Fire


In my opinion, The Impossible Eye seems to be a colossal waste of time. The heroes are desperate to get back to the prime material plane, they finally escape kakishon, and they end up stuck in the city of brass. I can see some of my players walking out at that point. I mean it really seems like the heroes should go right from The End of Eternity into The Final Wish. It's like the writers suddenly realized the campaign was ahead of schedule and needed to stick something in as book 5 to get the heroes their extra 3 levels (I so hate D&D's level system). So, what's the best way to remove The Impossible Eye? Should I just get rid of it and reduce the level of The Final Wish? Should I increase the level of The End of Eternity and find something that can go between it and The Jackal's Price? Is there something that can be done on the material plane that can be used as a direct replacement to The Impossible Eye, like maybe the heroes return home and find that they need to do something before they can face Jhavhul in The Final Wish?


There's a lot of unexplored locations in Kakishon, so it shouldn't be difficult to increase their stay there sufficiently to cover the missing levels. It's been a long time since I read through The End of Eternity, so I don't have any specific advice for how to do this.


That's true, there is supposed to be that ultimate edition of End of Eternity. I wonder if it's still possible to get a copy of that.


Shad0wdrag0n wrote:
That's true, there is supposed to be that ultimate edition of End of Eternity. I wonder if it's still possible to get a copy of that.

Check out the End of Eternity sticky thread. In there the author offered to hand out the Director's Cut edition. He was nice enough to email it to me and that was as recently as... a few months ago? Can't hurt to ask.

Liberty's Edge

If you have some time, you could re-write that book to allow them to explore some of the city of Brass. They could use the Mansion as a place of refuge as they figure out how to get back to the material plane. It was a hard pill to swallow for our group as well when we jumped into book 5.


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Or you could beaf up the role of the actual Impossible Eye: have Javhuls former master emphasize that they will need the impossible eye not only to get him out of prisson, but to defeat Javhul in the long run. Maybe it is the eye, being a major artifact, that stops Javhul from just wishing them out of existence. Or maybe the eye can show them the way/place/Mcguffin that they need to kill Javhul, if their struggle should not have been in vain. Of course, it could be the maridprincess that tells them this, or that she could wish the resting place of the eye open, if it is truly their wish, and if they can get her out of her prisson. There are several ways to give the PCs a reason to explore the palace without some wacky curse that will only upset them.

In my campaign I am adding the module 'crucible of chaos' just around book three. In this adventure the PCs stumble about an ancient aztlant flying city that is depowered and stranded. I envision, as the epic conclusion of the AP, that they use the flying city to navigate around Javhuls massive army and then crash-land the flying city, to punsh right down to X'otani's grave. Maybe the eye is an ancient aztlant artifact and, because of their similiar nature, can be sacrificed to power up the city for a short time. Or the eye shows them glimps of this, if consulted how Javhul might be reached.

Another caveat: let the PCs realize that they need the big fat artifact that sits on top of Javhuls palace, but cut it short ... well shorter then published. Book 5 is choke full of longwinded highlevel combat and I plan to wandwave much of this part. So Instead of doing the palace as a big dungeon I will just describe the setting and let the PCs go from place to place in a scene to scene style with just a few fights in the right place to settle the mood. If they know that fire giants are the palace guards and the fought just two troups of three don't let the fight another one just because the book talks about 23 giants all together or something like that. Just focus on the cooler fighting scenes and invoke the alien and wonderful nature of the place and this AP piece should be just as much fun as the rest of the AP.

And maybe cut down the different fractions a bit. It might make sense that fractions form up when the palace is cut of because of the curse, but we want to get rid of this, don't we? I like the idea of a raid from a rival efreet lord going on, just about the same time. This gives you the feel of warring factions, soe element of chaos that the PCs can use to go around and some nice backdrop, but all this duregar, lizzardman, ninjas and giants feels a bit much if all of them are a different factions, so make it just two: Javhuls guards, the invading rivals comando and the PCs caught in the middle.


Posting a year later, I know, but...

Has anyone considered flipping books 5 and 6 somehow?

Maybe Jhavhul escapes after being thwarted for the final wish, and the players head to the city of brass to finish him off?

It seems to me that a big ol' dungeon would be welcome in that context, and what's more they would be able to explore the City of Brass as their "base village".

I'm seriously considering this method.


That's a pretty good idea! I might have to steal that. I'd probably combine that with increasing the length of the Kakishon section in some way, too.


Let me know what you come up with, I want to try and make this work.


yep, i'm still wrapping up the first book on PbP (so slow), but going straight from Kakishon to the City of Brass rubs me the wrong way. I don't really like The Final Wish so I'm already planning on serious changes, but I think there's better flow going straight from Kakishon into the Genie War.

Impossible Eye will largely be used as a follow up. Once Jhavhul is dealt with, I've already laid some threads for the players to some day catch up with Lucky Farouq (LoF players guide) and mount a mission to rescue Shazathared.


I had an idea. I think one could switch The End of Eternity and The Impossible Eye. In other words, make TIE part 4 of Legacy of Fire and make TEoE part 5.

It would be a lot of work of course. One would have to adjust the encounters in TEoE up a couple of levels and the encounters in TIE down a couple levels. One would also have to significantly change the story during The Impossible Eye.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Instead of The Jackal's Price ending with Rayhan activating the Scroll of Kakishon, part 3 ends with the Scroll stolen by an extraplanar thief who absconds with it to the Plane of Fire. The thief is working on behalf of Jhavhul's brother. In this scenario, the various attacks and disasters that rendered Bayt al-Bazan cursed and haunted did not happen centuries ago, they happened only a couple weeks ago, sometime simultaneous with the events of The Jackal's Price.

After the PCs find the Scroll and bring it to the city of Katapesh, word spreads quickly of the legendary artifact's rediscovery, including to another hub of interplanar trade, the City of Brass. Al-hassan and Ezer Hazzebaim both bear a grudge against Jhavhul and they want the Scroll to make sure he remains imprisoned forever and so that they can smile and gloat over his prison. Some time shortly after the PCs get to the city of Katapesh, Al-hassan sends his thief (perhaps a member of the Flickering Candle) across the planes to Katapesh while he and Ezer continue their plans to steal the Impossible Eye from the grand vizier.

Then everything pretty much goes to hell for them as described in the adventure background for The Impossible Eye. Marids attack Bayt al-Bazan and kill Al-hassan, Ezer's theft of the Impossible Eye goes catastrophically wrong, the vizier's curse comes down, the palace staff rises as undead, and everyone gets trapped inside the citadel.

Meanwhile in Katapesh, the thief (who perhaps replaces the captain of the Sunset Ship as Father Jackal's client (Ezer would certainly be interested in the emkrah after all)) goes about acquiring the Scroll from the PCs. The thief has no idea about what has happened in Bayt al-Bazan until he transports back to the hazneh, deposits the Scroll there, and then heads up to the palace to find everything in shambles.

After having the Scroll stolen from them, the PCs must follow the thief to the City of Brass to get it back (perhaps at the behest of Pazhvann, the Templar who is otherwise missing from the AP). To get the PCs into Bayt al-Bazan's hazneh to start The Impossible Eye, one could use a modified version of the part 5 set piece, Beyond the Chain of Fire. A decent amount of interplanar trade takes place in Katapesh, so it shouldn't be difficult to justify a small azer presence in the city, including a small azer temple that rumors say contains a secret planar portal. If the PCs can get the azers to help them, or if they can figure it out themselves, they can use Jaznir-al-Nar's power to transport to the same location as the last traveler to use the Chain of Fire. Since Al-hassan's thief was the previous traveler, the PCs will emerge in Bayt al-Bazan's hazneh, just as he did.

From there, The Impossible Eye proceeds more or less as normal, just adjusted two levels down. After the PCs recover the Scroll from the hazneh and complete The Impossible Eye, they can take the Scroll back to Rayhan to activate it. Alternatively, if the PCs seem to want to get rid of the Scroll at that point, the lifting of the vizier's curse can interact strangely with the Scroll and cause it to activate unexpectedly, sucking the PCs into Kakishon and releasing Jhavhul. Either way, after that, The End of Eternity proceeds more or less as normal, just adjusted two levels up.

This idea has its drawbacks, of course. Besides all the work it would take to make The Impossible Eye a 9th-to-11th adventure and The End of Eternity an 11th-to-13th adventure, there are story issues. One would still be subjecting the PCs to two "escape from the planar prison" plots in a row, they just wouldn't be nested inside each other in this version and the time pressure of "Jhavhul's escaped, get back home before he resurrects the Firebleeder" doesn't get introduced until part 5 instead of part 4. However, this version does mean that there is an additional "thieves try to steal the Scroll of Kakishon" plot, only this time the thief succeeds. After The Jackal's Price, that could feel really tedious for the PCs.

What do you all think?

The Exchange

Another Idea, one that requires much less work than most of those already posted here, is to just "jump" the PCs' up in power at then end of the 4th module and just skip the 5th altogather. If you have more time, maybe waiting for the mythic rules to come out will solve your problem - make your PCs mythic at the end of part 4 and as I understand it that roughly equals giving them 3 levels. Legacy of Fire has a very "mythic" feeling to it anyway, so that could work.

If you either don't have the time to wait or would rather avoid the mythic rules altogather, I have another idea: get the PCs much stronger by fueling them with wishes - any sort of freindly Jinni could do that. Been some time since I read this AP so I don't remeber details but I'm sure this could be arranged somehow. Give your PCs powerful equippment, and special abilities, maybe by applying templates ir just inventing things by yourself. Give them power without levels. It will be a positive twist for them since this rarely happens in D&D games, and it sets you up nicely to just get in on the final adventure and kick some Efreet ass.


As for me, I plan to "skip" book 5 and have Jhavhul play it smart in the final confrontation of book 6, retreating to his fortress on the plane of fire. Basically, I plan to swap books 5 and 6.

Something about ending the campaign on the plane of fire seems right to me.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:

As for me, I plan to "skip" book 5 and have Jhavhul play it smart in the final confrontation of book 6, retreating to his fortress on the plane of fire. Basically, I plan to swap books 5 and 6.

Something about ending the campaign on the plane of fire seems right to me.

Brilliant! I always sort of felt that it seemed a little under-climatic to have the final fight in a cave. Now, a three or four way final battle at the rooftop of Bayt al-Bazan involving the descendent of demi-gods, a huge red dragon, a huge efreet, and a group of plane-traveling heroes sounds epic!

It will also more easily allow a tie in to City of Brass.


Another thought on doing Impossible Eye last. Jhavhul somehow is able to finish the ritual while in the City of Brass and the party gets to fight Xotani amongst a section of the city ruined by his coming.


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I think I've actually got an idea for a solution that should be both relatively elegant and simple, plus easy to enact, requiring only a few minor changes (mostly to background plot).

My impression as both a GM and player is that it's the Fake Out that's the problem here. Spending two adventures escaping from somewhere to get back to save the world isn't a bad thing at all! But spending an adventure escaping only to find out WHOOPS NO YOU DIDN'T HAHA GOTTA START ALL OVER. It's a slap in the face.

So here's my proposal: Merge Adventures 4 and 5 together. Adventure 4 explores Kakishon at large and serves to let the players figure out HOW to escape. The solution turning out to be in Jhavul's personal homebase/palace on Kakishon (Jhavul seems like he'd have set up shop during his long, looooooong stay, and there's a volcano that would allow for Plane-of-Fire esc environment).

Then they spend Adventure 5 seeking out and exploring Jhavul's palace (Still in Kakishon!) in order to escape.

This makes the adventure into an extra long two parter, one part traveling, one part dungeon crawl, which I suspect my players would enjoy very much. There's obviously some changes that would need to be made, but from what I've read, it's mostly to background plot/NPC backstories/background mechanics.
Compared to trying to scale up or scale down adventures for different levels, this seems pretty easy to do. I haven't begun working out the specifics just yet (I'm in the middle of running Second Darkness and don't want to get ahead of myself, since I'm making major changes in that adventure too).

BUT I hope this idea proves helpful to anyone else looking for a solution to this pickle C:


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In my Pathfinder conversions thread I a suggested a retrofit in which the PCs wouldn't just be trying to escape Bayt al-Bazan, they'd also be searching the ancestral home of their nemesis for objects they could use to rattle his confidence in their eventual showdown with him (gaining mechanical benefits for doing so).

To lessen the surprise setback nature of the adventure's opening, I think I'll also make sure to stress during End of Eternity that, as mentioned in the adventure, Jhavhul is likely in possession of the scroll now, and will likely secure it somewhere he deems safe, making sure the PCs know that they *won't* be heading straight back to Xobhadi's house.


Evil Lincoln

Did you get round to swapping books 5 and 6?

If so, how did that work out for you?

My party are about to head into Kakishon next session (it's only taken us 36 sessions to get there) and I am wondering whether to use your idea about flipping the books around, or MuseAmused's idea of putting Jhavul's palace inside Kakishon.

Klumz

Grand Lodge

I'm just going to truncate a lot of the lower levels of Jhavul's palace. Maybe cut out section C entirely, and just move treasure and a handful of encounters around.

Also, instead of having them teleport directly into Jhavul's palace, I'm going to instead have Jhavul sell or give the scroll of Kakishon to a cult in the City of Brass (using the set piece as the destination of their arrival instead.) Once they emerge from there, it'll give them an opportunity to actually explore and interact with the City of Brass a little bit, before tackling Jhavul's palace (on behest of the Moldspeaker, who senses that someone/something of great importance is imprisoned there and needs to be freed.)

I've still got a while 'til we get there, so I have lots of time to adjust and refine the plan.


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DM Klumz wrote:

Evil Lincoln

Did you get round to swapping books 5 and 6?

If so, how did that work out for you?

My party are about to head into Kakishon next session (it's only taken us 36 sessions to get there) and I am wondering whether to use your idea about flipping the books around, or MuseAmused's idea of putting Jhavul's palace inside Kakishon.

I'm in the midst of reworking The Jackal's Price to set up End of Eternity being triggered by something other than player ignorance.

My players are currently working for Pazhvann, who is a sort of grandfather-assassin-in-the-mountain-fortress figure. At some point they will bring the scroll to him for "safe keeping", but Davashuum will attack and kill Pazhvann (who is a demonstrated bad ass already). He will then deliberately unleash Jhavul and his army, then when the players confront him he will cast them into Kakishon (much like Andrathi did all those centuries ago).

This way I get to retain my credibility as a GM, not making the players take a huge detour, and they get to witness the death of the fifth templar.

So, in the event you've vetted the last two books for swapping, how's that look? I'll get around to it soon, but it looks like you'll beat me to it!


I've not really thought about what to do yet.

I think I'm going to see how The End of Eternity goes. If the party are in a mood to explore everything (and I think they will be) then I might use MuseAmused's idea and drop Jhavul's palace from The Impossible Eye into Kakishon.

I'm a little undecided.

I still want to get the PCs to witness Pashvann's death at the hands of Davushuum. Or better still, be responsible for his death and feel really bad about (whilst picking up another Templar weapon). The problem is I'm not sure how to drop this in. Other than a shopping trip in the Nighstalls there is not much for the party to do before Rayhan acidentally opens the portal to Kakishon.


I would highly recommend finding a way to switch the two. My players wrapped up LOF a few months ago as written, but I think it would have been better had I seen this thread before hand.

As it is, books 4 and 5 have far too many similarities. Consider the following summary, which describes either book, just with different window dressing.

Against their will, the players are sent to an alternate plane of existence which previously served as a home to the efreeti Jhavhul. Travel away from this strange plane is blocked by powerful magic, and the group has no choice but to find the key to their release. Trapped without hope of resupply, the group must explore, meeting along the way powerful factions (which have been further split by Jhavhul’s departure) each of which vie for control of this plane.

Yeah. Basically, we got to book five and it felt as if we were doing a less fun version of End of Eternity again. If instead the players had chosen to go to the plane of fire to defeat Jhavhul, and had they been more "storming the castle" I think that would have gone much better.


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tocath wrote:

I would highly recommend finding a way to switch the two. My players wrapped up LOF a few months ago as written, but I think it would have been better had I seen this thread before hand.

As it is, books 4 and 5 have far too many similarities. Consider the following summary, which describes either book, just with different window dressing.

Against their will, the players are sent to an alternate plane of existence which previously served as a home to the efreeti Jhavhul. Travel away from this strange plane is blocked by powerful magic, and the group has no choice but to find the key to their release. Trapped without hope of resupply, the group must explore, meeting along the way powerful factions (which have been further split by Jhavhul’s departure) each of which vie for control of this plane.

Yeah. Basically, we got to book five and it felt as if we were doing a less fun version of End of Eternity again. If instead the players had chosen to go to the plane of fire to defeat Jhavhul, and had they been more "storming the castle" I think that would have gone much better.

This basically confirms my thought process.

So how would you structure it? The players leave Kakishon and emerge... in Kelmarane? Perhaps one of the buildings has become a designated "treasury" for Davashuum and the scroll was kept there? They quickly run into Nefeshti and carry on with the plot as presented.

Then how to handle the transition from book 6 to book 5? The players basically run off Jhavul by defeating him, but he needs the means to escape back to the plane of fire (no problem, he's a genie).

At this point, with higher level PCs I'd be tempted to abandon the Sultan's curse, but keep Ezer Hazzebaim trapped in the Impossible Eye (that's probably how Jhavul turned the tables on him to begin with; maybe he wished for "all the powers of the Impossible eye and Jhavul granted it by trapping him inside?)

No curse means the players are free to use the City of Brass for resupply, which is awesome. I'm not sure why it was so off-limits before, level maybe?

If they want to plane shift there reliably, you can use the setpiece Beyond the Chain of Fire in reverse... it is a good alternative to planeshifting to a random point 5-500 miles outside the city of brass!

Aberzjerax now becomes a trusted allie of Jhavul, which goes a very long way to correcting big J's underwhelming-ness as a boss.

I guess the players can enter Bayt al Basan with a direct attack, but perhaps local allies in the City of Brass (political enemies of Jhavul, perhaps) can advise a sneak attack entering through the drainage canal at B8. Maybe there's something in the palace that will help the players mitigate the red dragon, at least partially. That would explain the detour.

Any thoughts from those of you who know the modules well?


Evil Lincoln wrote:


This basically confirms my thought process.

So how would you structure it? The players leave Kakishon and emerge... in Kelmarane? Perhaps one of the buildings has become a designated "treasury" for Davashuum and the scroll was kept there? They quickly run into Nefeshti and carry on with the plot as presented.

Then how to handle the transition from book 6 to book 5? The players basically run off Jhavul by defeating him, but he needs the means to escape back to the plane of fire (no problem, he's a genie).

At this point, with higher level PCs I'd be tempted to abandon the Sultan's curse, but keep Ezer Hazzebaim trapped in the Impossible Eye (that's probably how Jhavul turned the tables on him to begin with; maybe he wished for "all the powers of the Impossible eye and Jhavul granted it by trapping him inside?)

No curse means the players are free to use the City...

These are all great thoughts. I think lifting the curse is certainly excellent.

I would also set up Shazathared as an ally / friend / half-sister to Nefeshti. Perhaps Nefeshti sends the players to the City of Brass with a plea to rescue Shazathared from Bayt Al Bazan. Nefeshti might also hint that Jhavhul will be far stronger on his home turf (give him a level bump for his daring escape from the players), and that Shazathared may have discovered some keys to his undoing.

That gives the players a reason to be wandering the innards of the palace instead of just flying to the top and pouncing on Jhavhul. You may also fortify the exterior heavily with ranged casters to discourage such tactics. If the party takes to the air, the casters give them a pounding and try to force them to the ground...

Finally, I would reduce the faction element. Most if not all will re-establish loyalty to Jhavhul when he returns. The big dog is back, the time for turf wars is over. Jhavhul might even string up a ring leader or two to make that exact point.


tocath wrote:


Jhavhul will be far stronger on his home turf (give him a level bump for his daring escape from the players)

Or, more likely, draw him down in power for the initial confrontation at Pale Mountain and then restore him for the final showdown in Bayt Al Bazan.


DM Klumz wrote:

I've not really thought about what to do yet.

I think I'm going to see how The End of Eternity goes. If the party are in a mood to explore everything (and I think they will be) then I might use MuseAmused's idea and drop Jhavul's palace from The Impossible Eye into Kakishon.

I'm a little undecided.

I still want to get the PCs to witness Pashvann's death at the hands of Davushuum. Or better still, be responsible for his death and feel really bad about (whilst picking up another Templar weapon). The problem is I'm not sure how to drop this in. Other than a shopping trip in the Nighstalls there is not much for the party to do before Rayhan acidentally opens the portal to Kakishon.

I plan on introducing cult of the Evon Destroyers into the game during Jackals Price. Rayhan is going to need a book from the library in Jalmeray and send them there to recover it. Davushumum could be a member of the cult, which could tie into the AP.

Also this is coming out soon. It takes place in Katapesh and can be scaled up I'm sure.


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eakratz wrote:
Also this is coming out soon. It takes place in Katapesh and can be scaled up I'm sure.

I'm hoping to slot it into "The Jackal's Price" more-or-less the moment it comes out, to be run either concurrently with TJP or just after that story's resolved (but before moving on to the next chapter, for obvious reasons). My intention is to run it for 8th-level PCs and somehow use it to resolve Haleen's bad debts.

At any rate, I'll post 8th-level upscaling notes shortly after it's released.

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