The Abyssal Campaign (~260pg).


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  1. #1
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    The Abyssal Campaign (~260pg).

    Should any of my players be so sneaky to lurk these boards without telling me, he should stop reading now and report for termination as soon as possible.

    I am writing a long adventure (or short campaign) entirely set in the Abyss. While the adventure is designed with Planescape in mind, it could really be played as standalone, or plugged into any campaign. Since the five chapters I've (almost) completed are already almost 200 pages, and there are four more to go, the end result is going to be a very long trip.

    The PCs, while on a relatively easy mission, get trapped in the Abyss. As the complex plot unfolds, they meet many weird NPCs, visit a number of twisted locations, fight hordes of insane monsters, and eventually escape. And, if I am halfway decent at writing this stuff, vow to never come within three planes of the Abyss ever again.

    The Abyssal Campaign is designed to appeal to both roleplayers and rollplayers, and to scare the hell out of each. There are complex NPCs, dangerous deals to be done, hard moral choices, and mature themes. There are tough fights requiring smart tactics, outright unwinnable fights, and a choice of horrible fates for the foolish.
    Nevertheless, many encounters are more scary than deadly (don't tell this to the players ).

    There are sidebars designed to help the DM integrate the adventure in his campaign, and to help getting the adventure back on track if the PCs stray too far.

    Link in this post.

    I welcome any opinions and suggestions. I am especially afraid of having left plot holes, so if you spot any feel free to point them out.

    I've also got another, normal-sized, Planescape-style adventure titled Matter of Opinion. It needs some filing here and there, but it's mostly complete.
    http://wwwstud.dsi.unive.it/~fpolo/moo.zip (DOC)


    edit:

    The adventure is done, although shorter than anticipated. I'm afraid RL issues prevented me from fully fleshing out the ending. Final pagecount is 260 pages, 7 chapters.

    Link in this post.
    Last edited by Zappo; Thursday, 17th April, 2008 at 05:38 PM. Reason: updating main post

 

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    Ý Ignore Hunter
    If you haven't already, I highly suggest reading
    From Dretch to Demonlord by BlackDirge
    on the Story Hour Forum.
    He goes through the entire process from the point of view of a wizard's spirit who was damned.
    He also describes (in detail) various locales/dimensions in the abyss.

    ~Hunter

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    argh... someone get first... yep BLACKDIRGE is too good !

    (by the way , gonna have a look to your stuff)

  • #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappo
    I welcome any opinions and suggestions. I am especially afraid of having left plot holes, so if you spot any feel free to point them out.

    Do not think of them as plot holes... just 'stratigically placed DM freeform zones of creativity'!

    Worry about plot holes in short story or novel. An adventure being at the whim of the players means that that plot hole may give you the room to 'salvage' an adventure which otherwise be cut short.

    Let me read it first (as time allows) and try and see what you see before I say more.


    Hagy
    Vermont
    http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/shroudd-cartography.html

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    Just reading it now. Very entertaining!

    One thing- the Creature of Darkness template should include electricity immunity and perhaps DR 1/- (to protect against the elements).

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    Thanks! I don't want the creatures to be completely immune to the layer's environment. During the storms, most creatures will stay in their holes and caves, with maybe only the biggest ones (those with the needed +4 natural armor) wandering around and risking a lightning strike. This way, PCs can choose between staying in the open and taking hits and lightnings until the storm wears off (but being relatively safe from the critters), or finding a cave and avoiding the storm (and having to fight the monsters).
    A rock and a hard place: there are several such situations throughout the adventure.
    Download the ABYSSAL CAMPAIGN. Huge free adventure in the making!

    Noli manere memoria

    Iron DM spring 2004

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    I notice the Gardener has potions of maximized bull's strength and cat's grace, but in 3.5 these spells give flat bonuses, and so aren't affected by maximize.

    Clairvoyance now allows you to see and hear your target, so the example about magic in the abyss needs to be tinkered with a little.

    When you say that damage dealing spells in the abyss are "enhanced" do you mean "empowered"?

    I imagine this is discussed in the next chapter, but the frequency and duration of lightning storms on 76 would be handy. And notes about the terrain.

    Back to abyssal magic. I don't play planescape, so this is probably a dumb question, but there is mention of some divination magics being used routinely- Abrit Atticus casting detect thoughts, the Tiefling wizard with a permanent detect magic. Didn't you say that local demon lords would mess up divinations? Or is this only for things like augury and the spell divination?

    Oh, and should the worm have paralyzing tentacles? Does its entangling goo have a duration?

    Two final questions:

    Is there a downloadable source book that would provide the necessary background for planescape?

    When is the next chapter going to be available?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheiromancer
    I notice the Gardener has potions of maximized bull's strength and cat's grace, but in 3.5 these spells give flat bonuses, and so aren't affected by maximize.

    Clairvoyance now allows you to see and hear your target, so the example about magic in the abyss needs to be tinkered with a little.
    When I wrote those sections, I was still playing 3.0. I'll swap the Maximized potions with Persistant ones (making them more valuable).
    When you say that damage dealing spells in the abyss are "enhanced" do you mean "empowered"?
    Correct.
    I imagine this is discussed in the next chapter, but the frequency and duration of lightning storms on 76 would be handy. And notes about the terrain.
    They'll be in the final section of chapter II. It will detail the PCs' escape from Castle Maldithar and towards a portal out, through the dangers of the layer's outside.
    Back to abyssal magic. I don't play planescape, so this is probably a dumb question, but there is mention of some divination magics being used routinely- Abrit Atticus casting detect thoughts, the Tiefling wizard with a permanent detect magic. Didn't you say that local demon lords would mess up divinations? Or is this only for things like augury and the spell divination?
    Good point. For that matter, I myself didn't particularly hose my PCs with detect magic, see invisible and similar. My reasoning is that, even though the demon lord has the power to intercept any divination, if he bothered to catch all of them he would waste all his time for little benefit. He's not a god and he can't pay attention to everything at once. I reckon 90% of the divinations cast in any given layer will be stuff like detect magic, detect [alignment] and similar (especially since lots of fiends have them as spell-like abilities). Most tanar'ri lords only intervene against the powerful stuff, the spells such as divination, commune, speak with dead, scrying, that indicate the presence of a powerful caster.
    I'll write this explicitly in the abyssal magic section.
    Oh, and should the worm have paralyzing tentacles? Does its entangling goo have a duration?
    The tentacles don't actually paralyze. The passage in the book is simply false. Don't trust demons to write accurate reports.
    As for the goo, it should last as long as entangle (90 minutes for The Worm). After that duration, it becomes weak and can no longer hold a creature (though it stays there for added ickyness). Smart PCs will stay away from the creature; they have few chances of passing near it and staying alive, let alone actually fight it. Luckily, there are lots of other targets.
    Two final questions:
    Is there a downloadable source book that would provide the necessary background for planescape?
    Not for free, unfortunately. Svgames.com has the ESDs for all Planescape manuals and boxed set, and www.planewalker.com is working on Planescape 3E. Fortunately, the adventure doesn't really require much knowledge of Planescape material after the first chapter, because the PCs are almost completely cut off from the rest of the planes.
    When is the next chapter going to be available?
    No idea. I am about to begin a stage with the local national research council, and after that I'll leave Italy for 5 months to study abroad. I don't know whether the stage means slightly less free time or no free time at all, and I have absolutely no clue as to what studying abroad will involve. I can promise that I will complete the adventure (heck, my players would kill me otherwise), but when, eh.... could be anything.
    Last edited by Zappo; Sunday, 28th December, 2003 at 03:31 PM.

  • #9
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    Updated. Chapter 2 is complete, and I have started chapter 3. The link is the same. Pagecount is now 60. I should be able to write more in the next days.

    We're playing this adventure while I write it... the characters have found the book in the monster zone (the dire tiger has provided moments of sheer terror), and are now exploring the lake and wondering about Skralekos' motivations. The "vile" elements have been very successful; the players (even those with evil PCs) are genuinely hating Briwan (and Trevoc) and I'm wondering if I should give the PCs an opportunity to face them or keep them in store for later.

    Want to know more? The link is on the first post.
    Last edited by Zappo; Sunday, 28th December, 2003 at 03:31 PM.

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    Updated. Cleanup and more of chapter 3.

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