Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Revisiting & Using The Revelry In Torth Adventure By Kort'thalis Publishing For Your Old School Campaigns

With the Alpha Blue Kick Starter starting to wind down in eight days for Venger Satanis, I was thinking about one of my favorite sword and sorcery setting Revelry In Torth. Confession time, I basically swore last year that I'd use the world of Torth and set a few things in the adventure setting but it got away from me. There are only so many hours in the day. This adventure contains mature content and adult themes.Its not for the kids and should be run with a group of adults. This one isn't an adventure for the easily offended.
The world of Torth is a world of twilight & darkness whose dependent on the cycle of the engines and machinery for its existence. Pieces of sci fi, science fantasy, and other pop culture sword, sandal and sorcery are all a part of existence with a healthy heaping of Lovecraftian goodness on top. Right and you've heard all of this before and this isn't a commercial for the adventure.

There are actually several ways that this adventure/source book's setting  can be used and used for old school gaming. Because its always night, things may have evolved different because of the ancients. There are Cthulhu devil sand squid already lurking in the setting just waiting for PC's to stumble into the desert sands. This setting is equal parts Heavy Metal, He Man style sword & sorcery as it is Biblical artwork of Dustave Dore. This is just the sort of a political situation that's going on right now in Aryd's End; the setting's main city state that's detailed with a murder investigation adventure. So we have equal parts Robert Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs seen through the lens of Dore on acid. There's this strange Lawrence of Arabia meets Alien in an alleyway where they get it on quality about the place.

Most of the important NPC's of Aryd's End are themselves as cagey or dangerous as any of the royals in Dune or an ERB's Barsoom adventure and they interweave back and forth with some of the NPC's on the street level that adventurers and freebooters are likely to meet. Torth is a trading world in every sense of the word. This is a lost world trading cross point both for what the sword and sandal world provides and what it needs. And believe me Torth needs a lot in terms of slaves, manpower, trade goods, technology, luxury goods and more.  This is both Aryd's End & Torth's function in a sword and sorcery campaign. Even though it plays fast and loose with both 5th edition and the OSR. I've used Revelry In Torth a number of times as port of call for other worldly adventurers and its NPC factions as levelers and traders for games many times now. One of the reasons is the adventure setting is rife with demons as both background and as sword & sorcery powers. And demons in this adventure resource are incredibly dangerous to both the adventurers and the residents of this world make no mistake of that. And with the taboos on magick in the general tribal and city state populations. The citizens of Torth need all of the help they can get.

This is where Torth comes in handy as place to set sword & sorcery adventures of slightly more twisted bent. The setting not only lends itself to this but almost determines it with weird magick enhancing drugs and mountain sized hives of giant bees. The two classes the Shadow Priest and the Wandering Minstrel I've grafted onto existing PC classes. I've used the Shadow Priest as demonic pact option  for the Occultist class in Fantastic Heroes and Witchery as well as an add on for the wizards in Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. The Shadow Priest doesn't specify any level progression or saving throws so this sort of a thing is a snap to do.
To fill out the rank and file of the population of Torth as well as its various dimensional traders, black magicians, and others I turned to the Weird Tales races from Fantastic Heroes and Witchery or for using the setting with an OD&D vibe I relied on the races in Realms of Crawling Chaos from Goblinoid games.
On the issue of monsters keep the Lovecraftian in mind for Torth with an eye towards the Abyssal and Chaotically nasty. A good example of this is a monster that I imported over into Torth from my Accursed Atlantis campaign. The more chaotic factions worship these things found in the various ruins and half forgotten temples that get unburied by the various sand storms and evil winds that blow through the alien desert landscape.

False Idols
Frequency : Uncommon on Accursed Atlantis and Torth.

No Appearing: 1d3 
Armor Class: 6 
Move: Non 
Hit Dice: 12 
% in Lair : 100
Treasure Type: D
Number of Attacks: 3 
Damage: 2-12/2-12/3d6+2
Special Attacks: See Below 
Special Defenses: See Below 
Magic Resistance: 60% 
Intelligence: Semi to Average 
Alignment: Chaotic Evil 
Size: 10 to 20 feet tall 
Psionic Ability: 100 
Attack/Defense Modes: D/F

False Idols are demonic entities that have displeased powerful demonic overlords in the past on the various planes of Hell. They are punished by being transformed into stone statues of their alien demonic god masters.  Assuming a rough  likeness of these beings they are cast into the wastelands of various worlds in the name of their masters and are often teleported into the hearts of old ruined temples and vaults of half forgotten places. These alien life essences are bound in stone and can wait hundreds or thousands of years before some fool stumbles upon them and it communicates telepathically. The false idol makes a demonic pact with its priest whose soul powers it for the next one hundred years and the process of starting to gather a cult in the name of its alien master begins.
The horror can cause fear (as per the wand), has telekinesis 4000 gold pieces worth of weight, read languages, cure or cause both light wounds or heavy, gate in demons types I-III, dispel magic, and animate for up to one hour per day.
While animated this horror can cause darkness in a 10' radius at will and hits with powerful fists or claws. This horror can also blast a target within a twenty foot radius with a powerful eye searing chaotic energy blast for 3d6+2 points of damage.
While it is powerful it's warty stone like skin has most of the standard demonic resistances but animating takes a lot of effort on the idol's part and it will regenerate 2 hit points per day but it must rest in a stasis like state. The monster's intellect and intelligence drops to semi and it is only vaguely aware of its surroundings in this state. 1d8 2nd level cult fighters and body guard fanatics watch over their demonic master when this is happening. They are led by a cleric or dark priest of 3rd or better level armed with a demonic weapon of some type.

By their very nature these parasitic demonic horrors latch onto the righteous temple grounds of extinct or long forgotten religions causing the gods of these places to rise from their slumber and seek out their own followers to wage war. This state causes even more violence in the wars of Law, Chaos, and Neutrality fulling the war machine across the planes and pleasing the demonic masters of these blood stained horrors.

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