Thursday, December 22, 2016

Commentary On A Mash Up Campaign Idea With AD&D's Adventure T1 The Village of Hommlet, Temple of Elemental Evil & The DCC Hubris Setting by Mike (wrathofzombie) Evans Part II

A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs from the black hole that spawned it. Like an ebony darkness it prowls the land and safety is but an illusion, for it watches from every shadow and ponders possibilities.
What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. Its also the perfect time for a band of outlaws, renegades,scum, and adventurers to make their mark from a world called Hubris. Perhaps if their really lucky they might make some coin, save the universe, and not get murdered in the process. Nay, a few are going to die along the way!

Alright let's pick this idea right up in the next location where the PC's are going to be heading, I'm talking about  the next section, T2, the adventurers move on to the nearby village of Nulb to confront several highly dangerous  opponents, including agents from the Temple. After reading through a good portion of Hubris last night again, the surroundings of the Temple of Elemental Evil wouldn't be out of place on the world of Hubris. Seriously patrons, monsters, environs, and such are more then a match for Zuggtmoy herself as well as her followers. In fact I think that the patrons & gods of Hubris would be seen as nothing but competition by the Elemental Evil faith. The key here is in the parsona of the leader  Lareth the Beautiful from the moat house. Her mettling with some of the forces of the moat house might just provide the in that the dungeon master is looking for.

Based on the outcome of these from T2's encounters, the player characters can then enter the Temple itself to interact with its many denizens and test their mettle against Zuggtmoy herself. I've had a couple of emails regarding if I thought that the inclusion of the black powder fire arms, racial varieties, and classes of Hubris would make a difference to running the gauntlet that is Temple of Elemental Evil? In a word, no. The village of Hommlet, The Temple, the dungeons and the evirons surrounding the temple are deadly. Because of the background of Tharizdun, Zuggtmoy, and the insanely metal aspects of the Temple of Elemental Evil it might have an extradimensional shadow on Hubris. In fact the sleazy & scuzzy town of Nulb could fit right into the habitats of Hubris. 

Half demons, murder machines, blood witches, shadow dancer assassins, etc. all from Hubris might feel right at home in Nulb. The Welcoming Wench is a good location to start things off especially if the PC's have managed to complete the Moat House dungeon & the surrounding landscape. There's something very iconic & weird about The Temple of Elemental Evil, it seems to revel in its deadliness & reputation.

Its within the history itself of the Temple that we get some very powerful clues how to integrate it between Dungeon Crawl Classics, Hubris, & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition here's a break down of the history of the Temple of Elemental Evil;"

The temple referenced in the module's title is an unholy structure located in the central Flanaess not far from the city-state of Verbobonc. In 566 CY, forces of evil from Dyvers or the Wild Coast constructed a small chapel outside the nearby village of Nulb. The chapel was quickly built into a stone temple from which bandits and evil humanoids began to operate with increasing frequency.
In 569 CY, a combined force was sent to destroy the Temple and put an end to the marauding. The army included regular forces from the human kingdoms of Furyondy and Veluna, dwarves from the Lortmil Mountains, gnomes from the Kron Hills, and elven archers and spearmen.
This allied army clashed with a horde of evil men and humanoids, including orcs, ogres and gnolls, at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Men-at-arms from Furyondy and Veluna united with dwarves from the Lortmils, gnomes from the Kron Hills, and an army of elven archers to face the threat of the Horde of Elemental Evil, consisting largely of savage humanoids such as orcs, ogres, and gnolls. The arrival of the elves from the shadows of the Gnarley Forest turned the tide of battle, trapping the savage humanoids against a bend in the Velverdyva where they were routed and slaughtered.
After dispersing the Horde of Elemental Evil, the allied forces laid siege to the Temple of Elemental Evil itself, defeating it within a fortnight. Spellcasters loyal to the goodly army cooperated on a spell of sealing that bound the demoness Zuggtmoy (a major instigator in the Horde of Elemental Evil) to some of the deepest chambers in the castle's dungeons.
At some point in this battle, Serten, cleric of Saint Cuthbert and member of the Citadel of Eight, was slain. The Citadel was notable for its absence at this pivotal moment in the history of the Flanaess, and their failure to take part in the Battle of Emridy Meadows contributed to the group's decline and eventual disbandment.
The forces of good were victorious and the Horde of Elemental Evil was scattered. The Temple was then besieged and fell within two weeks, although a few of its leaders managed to escape.
The site itself remained, however, and over the following decade rumors of evil presence there persisted. The Viscount of Verbobonc and the Archcleric of Veluna became increasingly concerned, and cooperated to build a small castle outside the Village of Hommlet to guard against the possibility of the Temple rising again.
For the next five years, Hommlet gained in wealth thanks to adventurers who came to the area seeking out remnants of evil to slay. Things quieted down for another four years as the area returned to peace and normalcy, but in 578 CY evil began to stir again, with groups of bandits riding the roads. In 579 CY, the events in the T1-4 module occur."
There's a completely casual attitude by the commoners & the sweeping events of Temple of Elemental Evil that dovetail in with the metal like attitudes of Hubris. Given AD&D's gaming structure & rules, I can see easily using the rules within Hubris to generate those commoners & randomly give them backgrounds to become the heroes needed to confront the evils of the Temple. Here's the thing no one's going to save you from the hell about to engulf your village or town. Does this sound like a funnel? Well yes because the Moat house from T1 is can be used for exactly that. Hubris's random PC characters are perfect in this regard.

So what might the background for an AD&D 1st edition and DCC system mix be like for PC? Well here's a few suggestions from my end of things:
  • Let the fighters have a bit of a wider range of weaponry especially from Hubris to set the stage 
  • Give wizards & magic users the widest possible range of minor magics from AD&D 1st edition including cantrips and the like at least till they get to third level then let the patrons begin. 
  • Clerics should have their gods at their shoulders because of the evils of the temple. They're going to be reactive, proactive, and frankly on edge because of the stakes of the temple. 
  • Hirelings & mercenaries should be a mix of Hubris and Greyhawk types to show the dimensional instabilities and gate effects.  
  • Don't be afraid to use Greyhawk deities as patrons in the classic DCC style with lots of weird wrinkles on them. Use DCC magic rules here. Imagine Luz as a patron!? Why would he do that well because he's a dirty double dealing floor flusher of the highest order and he'll turn on his fellow gods in a black cold heart beat.
  • Blood witches can come in very handy under certain circumstances and a party should have one. They make excellent additions to an adventuring party. 
  • Feel free to incorporate the various Hubris PC types with all of the bells and whistles intact. The adventure of Temple of  Elemental Evil 's elements will indeed set the tone and background as needed. From traps to major NPC's its all their waiting to take PC's up the long ladder from first through their ending levels.

    But why would Hubris PC's even remotely be interested in The Temple of Elemental Evil? Well besides the usual treasures & glories? Well in a word 'supernatural power', the temple, moat house, & adventure locations are filled to the brim with all kinds opportunities to make the reputation & retirement of some minor Hubris PC. Seriously this kind of motivation for PC's from a world of wanton destruction and mayhem is enough to bring Joe Bob the dirt farmer from his Hubris hovel.
    This is one of the things that makes this mash up work so well the opportunities for motivation and murder in equal turns.

    Keep those dice rolling. There is more coming up!

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