D&D General Decision paralysis: how do you homebrew?

Cruentus

Adventurer
I have already converted all of the encounters from part 1 of the adventure. I got stuck when I started converting the NPCs in the towns and cities, some of whom are clerics. There are also clerics on the enemy side - the very first encounter of the adventure includes one, but at least the enemy clerics all follow Tiamat. I didn't want to include Pelor, Wee Jas, Erythnul, etc, but haven't been able to figure out who to replace them with. I also need to decide if I even want clerics or not.

I've also had the idea of replacing the goblinoids. If I place the adventure in the Eldeen Reaches of Eberron, I'd replace them with fiends and human barbarians from the Demon Wastes. If I stick with homebrew, I may make them Cult of the Dragon followers (using the stats from the Tyranny of Dragons campaign) plus draconians and abishai in place of the dragonspawn. Partly to mix things up a bit more.

When I recently started a Greyhawk campaign (actually 2: one in 2e, and one with Beyond the Wall, in two separate areas of Oerth), I wanted to basically do the same: rein in the hundreds of Greyhawk deities and have a tightened Pantheon. Once I started into it, I found it was a lot of work to narrow things down, keep them balanced against each other, cover all the spheres, etc. I eventually gave up, and decided to focus on the area I was in (as mentioned before), and so I basically have: Rao and Cuthbert in Veluna, and Heironeous in Furyondy. Iuz is Iuz in his lands, and there was mention of Nerull to the east. That's it. Now, there may be more, but I'm going to focus my NPCs around these while the campaign runs here. I've found tons of options online around alt Pantheons, alt names for deities, etc. They're all in my "ideas for future games" folder.

Ditto on replacing Humanoids. Problem was I couldn't find any established humanoids along the lines of Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins. For my Beyond the Wall, I'm starting with Goblins, but using an old Greyhawk name for them: Jebli. I also have them referred to as Wisplings in the area of Sterich where the characters are starting. So I basically reskinned and renamed the Humanoids - the players don't know the difference - and then I can just have larger and stronger versions with slighly different names. I also added Harrow Hounds, that travel with the Jebli (goblins) as trackers and hunters. They're just dogs or wolves, or Dire Wolves as necessary, but again, the players don't know that. BTW also has rules for different types of Goblins - Mountain, Steppe, Deep, etc. where they have bonuses in their home environment and get weaker the farther they go from it. I've already used it to have Mountain Jebli down on the plains, and they were weak(er) when encountered. Now the party is going to the mountains to find out why they travelled so far afield.

Unfortunately, while I love dragons, draconians, and such, I fell like everything that is put out recently, from WOTC, and AL is all focused on Dragon Cultists and Dragons. Its sort of jumped the shark in our group. Using demons/devils, draconic lower planars, and cultists may work, but it seems overdone (again, in our experience).

I like your fiends and human barbarians from the Demon Wastes idea. Give them some corrupted ogres, abishai, etc., and pick a deity for them to be following (or demon prince) for their clerics, and off you go.
 

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pukunui

Legend
That’s a good point. I have run Tyranny of Dragons for one of my groups, so if I run RHoD for them, maybe I’ll have to run it in Eberron with fiends and Rak Tulkhesh instead of Tiamat.
 

pukunui

Legend
OK so I've opted to focus on a homebrew conversion for now. I decided that I still wanted to swap out the goblinoids for the most part. I want to mix in elements of both Dragonlance and Tyranny of Dragons, since they are thematically so similar. I'll replace the Red Hand army with a non-FR version of the Cult of the Dragon, and I want to replace some of the dragonspawn and such with draconians from Fizban's.

Now what I can't decide is when to introduce the draconians. By default, RHoD doesn't introduce the dragonspawn creatures until later in the adventure. Mostly you just fight the hobgoblins and their minions (goblins, bugbears, ogres, etc) to start with. But Dragonlance went big and bold and introduced the draconians pretty early on with that ambush on the road. Since RHoD begins with an ambush on the road, should I use draconian foot soldiers for that, or should I save them for later and replace the hobgoblins with humanoid cultists and the like? (I've already decided to reskin the two hell hounds as "fire drakes".)
 


pukunui

Legend
I'm not familiar with the source material, but would varieties of lizardfolk be useful? Then bringing the draconians in later, as the "step-up"?
So basically the very first encounter in RHoD sees the PCs innocently making their way to the western-most town in the vale when they are set upon by an advanced party of Red Hand hobgoblin soldiers with hell hounds. It's not until the invasion starts that the various dragonspawn start showing up. Some are more bestial, like the greenspawn razorfiends, but others are essentially just dragonborn/half-dragons or whatever.

But having exploding draconians attack them as the first encounter in the adventure could be kind of a fun way to start with a bang (literally), even if they then don't encounter more draconians till later. Like in the Dragonlance Chronicles.
 


Unwise

Adventurer
If you are truly unsure about the world, just ask the PCs to not be well travelled. They are all from the local area, an obscure valley. They have no idea what is outside of the immediate campaign area. You don't need to even establish what world they are in. What they call the gods might be different to what people in the wider setting call them. From what I recall that is not a world-spanning campaign, it is pretty self-contained.
 

Maybe your are trying to solve the wrong problem. Maybe the question you should be asking is not if you need to work on a homebrew or Eberron setting? Maybe the real question is whether you need to run the same story for two groups?

Maybe your decision paralysis comes from the fact that you are trying to achieve two goals with one campaign?
 

pukunui

Legend
Maybe your are trying to solve the wrong problem. Maybe the question you should be asking is not if you need to work on a homebrew or Eberron setting? Maybe the real question is whether you need to run the same story for two groups?

Maybe your decision paralysis comes from the fact that you are trying to achieve two goals with one campaign?
I don't and I'm not. I've merely said that I could run it for two groups. But at this point, I'm ready to give up. The decision paralysis has become painfully depressing, so I need to take a break at the very least.
 

fba827

Adventurer
Looking at the handful of posts here from the Op that I read or skimmed …


If you do Ebberon vs Homebrew you’re either doing more research and bending vs creating.

If you did ebberon you’d be plopping the adventure in an isolated area so you’d only be getting the name and some historical lore but not specifically some of the hallmarks like it’s transportation system and magictech

Being unfamiliar with the adventure in question, I’d distill it this way….

If the adventure is only an ‘arc’ and would end after a half dozen levels then go with ebberon as it leaves the door open for pcs to venture further out once the planned adventure is over and you’ll have plenty of time between now and then to figure out what that future continuation of adventure could be.

Conversely, If the adventure is supposed to account for an entire campaigns worth of levels, then I’d just homebrew since you’re not getting the main flavor of Everton just name. And it’s the same quantity of work either way.


Caveat: I always home brew so I am stating that is my personal bias as established worlds give me anxiety , worried I’m messing up something about the lore I forgot when I’m deciding things on the fly.
 
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