Saturday, July 2, 2016

Rethinking & Commentary About Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea & T1 The Village of Hommlet For Your Old School Campaigns

I've had a number of late nights & busy days so I've been a tad late with today's blog entry. I've started thinking about T1 The Village of Hommlet again. When in the middle of playing two separate campaigns with two intertwined groups of gamers you gain a bit more perspective on styles of play & the very different approaches that gamers have to D&D. The Village of Hommlet really bares this out. T1 is supposed to introduce new players into the world of Grayhawk as a precursor to the Temple of Elemental Evil. And it does an excellent job of doing that but for me Hommlet is the village where we as players recently of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea started off. I got off on this kick because of reading this blog post this morning. With a good dungeon master who isn't afraid to really get into the roles of NPC's there's a strong cast of characters within this module that can take the PC's into the depths of adventure.

There are several reasons to really get into this module and its actually easily modified to fit your own campaign world :
  • Hommlet is a living village with lots of personality & its a great safe place for adventurers to both rest their head and get into trouble. There is plenty of weirdness lurking under the bubbling life in the village especially with those spies from the nearby Temple of Elemental Evil. 
  • Hommlet has facilities for a party of adventurers looking to re equip & plenty of opportunities for the DM to hook in a side quest or two before starting them off on one of the most dangerous mega dungeons created. 
  • The village makes dungeon & adventure ecology sense, there's lots of things happening within the village and its got its own nearby adventure location and dungeon. The moathouse is where lots of adventurers have gotten their start. The 'good' NPC's are jerks & the number of times that PC's have by passed them is countless. 
  • There is an incredible amount of history & background that has gotten packed into Hommlet and then there is the frictions  between the Old Faith (Druidical) and the New Faith (St Cuthbert) most of this fits in with the tone and weirdness of AS&SH. 
  • All of this fits the history and timeline of The Temple of Elemental Evil which unto itself could be modified to fit the world of Hyperborea. 
  • There's also plenty of  duplicitous traders to help separate your players from their gold here. 
  • It was written by G.Gygax and is a precursor to Temple of Elemental Evil.

    I've used the village as a location that the PC's were passing through on their way up to the events of Taken From Dunwich. They got harnessed and attacked by the bandits operating out of the moathouse but didn't have time to deal with them. It was after the adventure that they came back through and began to get enmeshed in the lives of the village and its environs. I was both player and co DM for this run through of T1 The Village of Hommlet and my PC Thruthru 4th level wizard  died very badly.

    There was one reason for this the New Master, Lareth, Beloved of Lolth is a very dangerous enemy and one hell of an NPC. Way back in 2011 our DM Steven stumbled upon this blog entry and boy did we suffer for it. Steven was able to blend both Taken From Dunwich and T1 seamlessly because of the traders in Hommlet and the remote location. We were able to pick up new PC's from the Village after the events of Taken. Then I took over & got the party into the thick of the moathouse action & then it was far too late for them.

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