Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Adapting I7 Baltron's Beacon by Philip Meyers For Swords & Wizardry & The White Star Rpg

""A strangely delivered advertisement has led you to a sage named Demetrios. He needs a rare component to complete a desperately needed potion. The journey to retrieve it will take you through a large, unexplored swamp to a ruined keep, the former headquarters of a vile cult that once claimed the lives of many innocent youths."

"You cautiously accept the mission. But who knows what monsters lurk in the vast marsh? Are the old ruins occupied, perhaps by things even more dangerous than the previous residents? Beware, for the eerie green light shining upward from the central tower, the beacon that guides your way, may attract others as well. To succeed, you must penetrate the keep and find a unique Black Flame worshipped by the old cult. Could those evil ones be lurking about still? You will know soon..."
So I7 Baltron's Beacon by 
Philip Meyers came out in '85 or so, but we didn't get a hold of it until '86 or so. I7 is one of those modules that could be set anywhere but most often it either happens to be situatated in Mystara or Greyhawk. For us Batlron Beacon was situated & set within Greyhawk. 
That being said a few years ago we set Baltron's Beacon within an isolated & backwater world for the White Star Rpg. We kept Baltron being from Greyhawk with his history from the Greyhawk wiki's entry on I7 here; "Baltron (Baltronus Zemnus of Linth[2])- a 16th level magic user, who inhabited the keep a year before the module starts, and was destroyed in an attempt to summon the spirit of the swamp,Nakimas. This created the beacon(p.2). Dragon Magazine #304 states that Baltron first entered the keep 20 years ago (about 571CY) and was seeking the lost magic of the Suel House of Malhel in the Dreadwood[2](p.90), while Living Greyhawk Journal #01 states that Baltron was banished only a few years prior to 591cy" We changed up the history of Nakimas to being a spirit of the Void & the keep being an old Void Knight fortress. I7 is a mid tier module and doublely so for a Swords & Wizardry or White Star party. This is because everything within I7 was expanded; "The keep and it's history was expanded further into Greyhawk lore in Dragon Magazine #304, Places of Mystery, 'The Hool Beacon'

I7 needs to take place directly after the events of  I2: Tomb of the Lizard King. The reason for this is the fact that I7 Baltron's Beacon by Philip Meyers is a classic Wilderness adventure. Everything about I7 centers around the whole of the Wilderness as foe & NPC. When we used this classic module for White Star we also had a gateway leading back to Greyhawk. This enabled the PC's to have a real connection with the events of the module. And also a perfect excuse if we want to transport the PC's over to Greyhawk. Once again we see the classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition tourament style rear it's head within I7. This can be used by the DM looking to exploit the black flame & it's connections to Demetrios- quest giver and eccentric sage. We kept certain aspects of Nakimas when using the spirit with White Star;"Nakimas(p.6,21)- a spirit of the marsh, which Baltron believed was not an individual, but the composite lifeforce of the swamp. Dragon Magazine #304 states that Nakimas (Suel), or Bwimb (Oeridian), is a Mud Lord from the Paraelemental Plane of Ooze" The paraelemental planes have connections to the void because of their connection to elemental destruction and return to natural entropy. This ties directly back into DYS Games Between Star & Void within it's philosphy of the Star Knights & the Void Knights. With the Seekers party of adventurers becoming a possible rival party of adventurers after the events of I7. 

The cult of the black flame became a real thorn in the sides of our White Star party because they could & would crop up anyplace on any colony world or even on Greyhawk multiple times.

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