The Emerald Spire Project


Modules

Order of the Amber Die

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Our gaming association, Order of the Amber Die, was the first in the world to complete the Emerald Spire. In our most enduring test of gaming to date, we played 195 hours of the Spire starting on July 5th and finishing on August 8th. I am posting the details of our project, along with the first eight levels of analysis here, followed by an additional level each week. In the hopes of aiding current and future groups seeking to undertake this massive journey, I have included errata and reflections about the Spire experience as well. The write-up contains some spoilers as noted within, and photos can be found on our Facebook page.

Click on the links below:

The Emerald Spire Project

Order Of The Amber Die Facebook

Order of the Amber Die

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We are grateful for the kind reception and many responses that we have received after posting our project. We hope our work continues to help many people play and enjoy this incredible superdungeon. If our project aided you in some way, we would ask if you could please take a moment to give our Facebook page a "like."

Thanks again!

Order of the Amber Die


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Are the updates being made to the Dropbox links, or did the posts here end up getting forgotten about?

Order of the Amber Die

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GamesManipulator wrote:
Are the updates being made to the Dropbox links, or did the posts here end up getting forgotten about?

All the updates are being made to the Dropbox link, and have also been posted on the larger Emerald Spire Discussion Thread. Thanks for checking back!


Order of the Amber Die wrote:
GamesManipulator wrote:
Are the updates being made to the Dropbox links, or did the posts here end up getting forgotten about?

All the updates are being made to the Dropbox link, and have also been posted on the larger Emerald Spire Discussion Thread. Thanks for checking back!

Excellent writeup! One question, though:

Spoiler:
Whatever happened to old Klarkosh? Did the party ever go back and deal with him, or is he slated to become the new master of the Spire? (You may have covered this already and I missed it in all the excitement.)

Order of the Amber Die

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blahpers wrote:
Order of the Amber Die wrote:
GamesManipulator wrote:
Are the updates being made to the Dropbox links, or did the posts here end up getting forgotten about?

All the updates are being made to the Dropbox link, and have also been posted on the larger Emerald Spire Discussion Thread. Thanks for checking back!

Excellent writeup! One question, though:

** spoiler omitted **

Thank you, it's nice to hear from other fans of this superdungeon. It sounds like you gave the project a devoted weekend readthrough, since I saw that just a few days ago you were looking for Spire content. I hope it helps you in preparing for your Spire run, and maybe even provides an entertaining look at our delve. I'd love to hear some of your group's stories as you progress through your journey.

Great question about Klarkosh! With the destruction of Iluchtewhar, Klarkosh's large collection (by that point) of constructs was deactivated. Jacobs discusses this on p.149, and GMs will certainly have to deal with other ramifications of defeating Iluchtewhar in their own campaigns. Klarkosh wasn't going to wait around defenseless for the PCs to come and hunt him down, so he decided to pack up and head for another dungeon to try and become the master of. I left it open-ended because the players really wanted to be able to continue their story at some point.

Feel free to reach out with any other questions you have, and most importantly, best of luck!

GM
Order of the Amber Die

Order of the Amber Die

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Just a quick note to say to that we made some tweaks to create a cleaner and more reader-friendly version of The Emerald Spire Project PDF.

New Dropbox Link


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As much as I hate to necro this further, you mentioned that your PCs decided to explore some of the Echo Wood. Was this not recorded in the PDF because it's not technically "Emerald Spire", but Thornkeep?

Order of the Amber Die

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No problem, glad people are still reading the PDF! While we included photos from one of the key encounters of exploring Echo Wood on our Facebook, we didn't include much written description about our time spent wandering the forest. This was because our goal with the project was to describe what it took to play and beat the module in 35 days; as always, we try to stick to the published material. Since Echo Wood is not a "level" of the Emerald Spire and is somewhat out of the scope of the delve itself, we left it mostly alone in the writeup. Exploring the forest also requires each GM to ad lib some of their own material, which means there will be dozens of ideas and interpretations put forth by GMs whose groups decide to explore Echo Wood--we figured we'd leave it to them.

Since you showed some interest in an old thread and got me reminiscing about the Spire here, I’ll offer what I can remember about our Echo Wood encounters:

Encounter 1: Crowned Skull Undead. The PCs encountered a skeletal champion on an old logging trail; I employed spotting distance and perception checks to see if the party noticed the undead first, as it seemed very intent on heading in a specific direction and with purpose. They were able to determine that the champion was headed toward the Emerald Spire, and also looked like it had been outdoors for quite some time. This served to give a bit of foreshadowing and sprinkled more mystery onto the Crowned Skull quest.

Encounter 2: Splinters. During their exploration, the party stumbled across a clearing containing a ruined chapel. My goal was to provide the party with a link to Splinterden before encountering it. The ranger who is absent from Splinterden was leading a group of outlaws that had just ambushed an adventuring party which had taken refuge in the church. There was a fierce battle between the PCs and the outlaws, with the outlaws firing through the broken windows of the church as the PCs attempted to cross the clearing. Photos of this can be seen on our Facebook, and captions will walk you through some of the tactics employed by the party. Inside the church, our PCs saw clear evidence that the Splinters had been going through the gear of the slain adventuring group.

Encounter 3: Chokedamp. When using the Thornkeep random encounters table, I rolled up the very young green dragon, and selected the name "Chokedamp" from the Draconomicon hardcover (v3.5, 2003). Since I had read about Thelsterex in Thornkeep, p.29, I came up with a little backstory that linked Chokedamp as a rival sibling biding his time in hiding and awaiting his turn to challenge Thelsterex for control of Echo Wood. Chokedamp’s lair was a stone structure now partially swallowed by the forest, which I built out dungeon tiles. I try to always make dragon encounters memorable in some way, so for this one I created a tactical challenge for our strong grid-players in the group. The party struggled with navigating difficult terrain while coping with the breath weapon and fly speed of their opponent; it turned into “adapt quickly or die.” Photos of this lair and resulting battle can be seen on our Facebook.

Encounter 4: Woodcutters. By this point the PCs were jumping at every twig snap, every lurching branch, ready for danger at a moment’s notice. I had this encounter take place in a particularly dense section of the forest where visibility did not allow them to see the source of the sounds they could hear ahead. An indifferent band of loggers was making their way through the wood, and I gave the party a chance to do something violent and/or stupid before the encounter began. I try to do this occasionally to keep my PCs on their toes, and to prevent the “I hear something? Fireball it!” response that some groups can fall into if they feel they know their GM or the game too well. The loggers engaged in a tenuous parley, which allowed some of our high CHA characters to shine and learn some things about the area as well.

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