• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

5E Enhancing "Storm King's Thunder"

Motorskills

Villager
Well that went.....places. :D


So the party (L11 x 7) was packing up in the feast hall of the Shrine to Annam. They were all set to oust WormBlod and Fryst, his recently-intelligent Adult White Dragon, from the Great Worm tribe. Credit to our druid, he proposed to use Windwalk, turns the whole party in gas, and they can get to the Great Worm clanhold very quickly, and without cold damage.

Our gridded floorplan can just about fit the whole of the Statue Room with 5x5 squares....that room is 280 x 280 :eek:


As they were leaving the druid (highest PP) spots that the portal is open. they chit chat a bit and then a storm giantess walks out, and they give each other verbal.

The party doesn't recognise her as Iymrith (no idea why they didn't twig, we had just spent an hour recapping! :D )


She demands they leave this holy place, they give her grief. It kicks off almost immediately. At 7:1, the storm giantess goes down pretty fast, even with Foresight pre-loaded.

At that point she transforms into the Ancient Blue. This DOES take them by surprise. I is a happy DM. :D



So I had done a bit of research...trying to find out just how big an Ancient Blue actually is. Couldn't find much online, there were a few references to Ancient Red. However that kinda matched my guesstimate, so I went with my original plan.

Head: 20L x 20W (15' reach)
Body: 80L x 40W (15' reach, wings and claws)
Tail: 80L x 20W (20' reach, and see below)

So I had cut-outs for the three segments. This thing was ENORMOUS. :D

I sent the relevant PCs flying when she expanded into their space.

I gave her 4 Portent points (made four players roll them for me in secret, write down the number and sign it - all the better for the blamestorming later :D)

I treated the regular tail attack like the whip-pierce thing that the Alien Queen had, very evocative as a Legendary Action. Same damage as the book, but piercing.

I added another attack style - Tail Sweep - the tail can move 90 degrees, and everyone in the "cone" is hit. Same damage as the book, but bludgeoning, and a chance to get knocked thrown out of the cone and knocked prone (similar to the Legendary Wing attack).

The battle itself took a long time, and I needed to cheat hard all the way through. :D

I started off with giving her the standard HP, but by the end she had 750HP.

They countered a lot of her spells, and she quickly ran out of Legendary resists.

Her Contingency spell failed, as did her attempt to escape.

Wasn't looking at all good for Team Blue.

It was then that I revealed my Plan C (or maybe it was Plan E by that point).


The party "woke up" back in the Feast Hall, with everything exactly as it was before the fight.

A quick chat with the Oracle revealed that this had all been all a Foretell Future spell / ritual / something cast by Iymrth - she is an Omen-Reader after all - thanks [MENTION=6801060]Demetrios1453[/MENTION].

The Oracle gave them the same play-through as Imyrith had received.

So Iymrith knows all the about the party...and how massive a threat they are.

But she doesn't know that they know.... :)


****

I already announced that I will be tweaking some of [her] stuff before another such fight. Principally with seven or eight bad (good!) guys beating on her she needs more Reactions / more Legendary Actions, and maybe more Legendary Resists, something along those lines.

I really like the Tail Sweep, very evocative, I'll probably make it a Legendary Action costing 2 points.

I also didn't use her Portents to proper effect, my bad (especially as I actually have a Portent Wizard in AL).


Her breath weapon is super nasty of course.


***

So after that, they executed their original plan to hit the Great Worm clan, with the ShaWoman Noori leading the way.

I kinda messed this whole thing up, but I'll figure it out, and I don't think the players realised how nonsense it all was.

Short version, they killed the dragon (who had been receiving insights from Iymrith and passing them onto Wormblod), and Wormblod. This allowed the true totem of the clan to be released (the Couatl). I'll patch the backstory when we next meet up in a few weeks, but the idea is that the party are now the heroes / saviours of the Great Worm tribe. Something like that.


So the deal was that the ShaWoman would give them the giant relic, which they now have. So they can use the shield to "fuel" the conch. I'm guessing they will head straight to Maelstrom, before Iymrith jumps them for real, but they have options in the desert, and also high above Parnast (Blagothkus as a straight swap for Sansuri).


***


Lessons learned...still working on that. But it's a damn long list. :D
 
For some strange reason my players have decided that they want to go find all of the relics instead of taking the two they now have, back to the Eye. There is literally no reason for them to do this other than that they think there are magic items waiting for them (I rolled some random treasure in the previous ones and changed the relic sites to be far more interesting than the bland boringness they're presented as).

Having already murdered Reghed barbarians (the Tribe of the Elk, no less) for no reason whatsoever other than that they were there, the leader of that tribe has sent assassins and champions after the party to either kill them or bring them to justice. Now that this tribe has also learned that the party has received the "Defenders of Icewind Dale" title from Sheriff Markham, the Elk tribe has declared war on the Ten Towns, and is using the incident as a means to unite the other Reghed tribes. Having to go through Uthgardt territory to pursue the party for vengeance has also meant forming an alliance with the Uthgardt. Now that the party has also raided the sacred places of the Uthgardt (the burial mounds), the Uthgardt have begun to talk to each other, and the Reghed tribes, about a super alliance.

So by the time the PC's have gotten to the next burial mound, they're going to find it well protected. And as they traverse the region more, they're going to start to see Uthgardt tribes working together, all of whom have heard, via the shamans and druids of the tribes, the stories of the murderous, pillaging, blasphemous PC's.

What kinda annoys me is that one player in particular is mostly responsible for this, and thinks he's playing a good character, despite outright, cold-blooded murder on numerous occasions. And the more I've put in the consequences of those actions as a dynamic world, the more he seems to get upset at the reaction, as if it's somehow surprising.

All of this meant that I didn't get to run the cool story about the aarakocra yet, and will probably end up wasting the next session dealing with the PC's trying to attack obviously overwhelming (100% TPK chance if they try to take on these defenders of the burial mound) odds. And I'm betting they will, because so far that's been their MO.

Oh well, it's not like I liked SKT anyway.
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
For some strange reason my players have decided that they want to go find all of the relics instead of taking the two they now have, back to the Eye. There is literally no reason for them to do this other than that they think there are magic items waiting for them (I rolled some random treasure in the previous ones and changed the relic sites to be far more interesting than the bland boringness they're presented as).

Having already murdered Reghed barbarians (the Tribe of the Elk, no less) for no reason whatsoever other than that they were there, the leader of that tribe has sent assassins and champions after the party to either kill them or bring them to justice. Now that this tribe has also learned that the party has received the "Defenders of Icewind Dale" title from Sheriff Markham, the Elk tribe has declared war on the Ten Towns, and is using the incident as a means to unite the other Reghed tribes. Having to go through Uthgardt territory to pursue the party for vengeance has also meant forming an alliance with the Uthgardt. Now that the party has also raided the sacred places of the Uthgardt (the burial mounds), the Uthgardt have begun to talk to each other, and the Reghed tribes, about a super alliance.

So by the time the PC's have gotten to the next burial mound, they're going to find it well protected. And as they traverse the region more, they're going to start to see Uthgardt tribes working together, all of whom have heard, via the shamans and druids of the tribes, the stories of the murderous, pillaging, blasphemous PC's.

What kinda annoys me is that one player in particular is mostly responsible for this, and thinks he's playing a good character, despite outright, cold-blooded murder on numerous occasions. And the more I've put in the consequences of those actions as a dynamic world, the more he seems to get upset at the reaction, as if it's somehow surprising.

All of this meant that I didn't get to run the cool story about the aarakocra yet, and will probably end up wasting the next session dealing with the PC's trying to attack obviously overwhelming (100% TPK chance if they try to take on these defenders of the burial mound) odds. And I'm betting they will, because so far that's been their MO.

Oh well, it's not like I liked SKT anyway.
This also happened in my game -- the players hit all of the burial mounds. They had the airship at this point, and went point to point, so there was no chance of an alliance forming and/or increased defences. I was mostly going to write off the barbarians (without lots of work or huge numbers, they're not much of a threat) but... they picked up the gnome from Deadstone and took him back to Loudwater and let him crawl all over the airship and then (yes, lots of ands here) took the Harper teleport ring to Waterdeep to resupply (the Thane was almost a TPK, something something splitting the party) for three days.

So Ellister stole the airship and is now off on a joyride of the Sword Coast. And this is a perfect moment, with the party now having to chase reported sightings, to do the work and bring back the highly offended barbarians, Reghed and Uthgardt, who have very, very personal bones to pick with the now landbound party. So, moral here is, sometimes it works out, don't lose hope yet.


And I also heavily changed almost all of the mounds. They're insanely boring as written. Why have such pretty, pretty maps for 'you see 2 Elk; they run away?*'

* in fairness, I actually ran that one as written. There needed to be a break and that one worked out.
 
I was mostly going to write off the barbarians (without lots of work or huge numbers, they're not much of a threat) but...
I'm reskinning stuff like the warlord, champion, archdruid, archer, etc. from Volo's. I'm also assuming that the druids/shamans, have enough magical capability to communicate across large distances. Having read up on the history of the Uthgardt and Reghed barbarians, they're linked in some ways, and the Uthgardt especially have threatened large swathes of the Savage North when they've banded together, all they've ever really needed was a reason: enter the PC's slaughtering their people.

And I also heavily changed almost all of the mounds. They're insanely boring as written. Why have such pretty, pretty maps for 'you see 2 Elk; they run away?*'
Yeah, I thought the same thing. There are things were maps would've been really useful, and then there are maps where they're not needed (according to the adventure requirements). I'm guessing that there was material done for these maps that was cut at some point, probably to shoehorn the Nightstone adventure in.
 

Charles Rampant

Registered User
You could get quite brutal and have the plot develop so that a major city (Silverymoon or Mithral Hall) gets attacked and destroyed by the Barbarians because of the characters. Then when the Good character's player comments, you can just quietly change the G on his sheet to N; after all, it was his actions and thoughtlessness that led to disaster.

Of course, I wouldn't do this unless you had adequately signposted what was going on. If the players had been presented with the fact that their actions were causing problems, and would cause far greater problems, then it is fair to hit them with consequences; but if this all comes out of left field then you might just come across as the guy who ruined their fun for obscure reasons that were not communicated.


Sent from my iPad using EN World
 

Motorskills

Villager
Likewise, I am having the Giants versus Barbarians, Giants versus Smallkin, and Barbarians vs Smallkin.

The Giants are not in civil per se, but are competing against each other, and it won't stay nice for long.

Total chaos in northern(?) Faerun, all of which feeds beautifully into my master plot for the Return of Tiamat, taking the PCs from (approx) L15 to L20.
 
Of course, I wouldn't do this unless you had adequately signposted what was going on. If the players had been presented with the fact that their actions were causing problems, and would cause far greater problems, then it is fair to hit them with consequences; but if this all comes out of left field then you might just come across as the guy who ruined their fun for obscure reasons that were not communicated.
It's playing out fairly slowly and with a progressive element to it that is clearly being communicated to the players. About the only thing I think I haven't made clear is how much time has passed. By that, I mean, it's easy to forget that after ten times of me saying, "You travel for 3 days without incident," that it adds up to a month. So far, the PC's have taken just under two months to do all of this stuff (ironically, they could've sped this up immensely but they kept actively and passively neglecting to follow up on multiple opportunities to get the Harper Teleportation Network Map). That's ample time for things to develop, rumours to spread, alliances to be forged, etc., especially if magical communication (again, I'm assuming druids/shamans are active in the barbarian tribes and enable some of this) is taken into account. Plus I've had them engage in encounters with numerous barbarian tribes so they've had conversations with NPC's about it, over the course of several sessions.

Bryn Shander is currently the number one target, as far as the Reghed are concerned. The Elk Tribe being outright murdered (with witnesses who were able to flee) by the PC's for no reason (they were sneaking past and decided to attack them because one PC failed the check, there were reasons at the time not to do it as a group check because they were well dispersed) is a major catalyst. They were working with the Ten Towns to counter the orcs and frost giants in the area. I even described the barbarians as being over the bodies of orcs on the road after having just killed them. Up until the PC's were named as Defenders of Icewind Dale, by the Sheriff of Bryn Shander, the barbarians were willing to simply either get revenge on the PC's, or bring the PC's to their chieftain for judgement. But now it has played out as Bryn Shander betraying the alliance and sponsoring murderers. Add in the Uthgardt who have so far had two of their sacred burial mounds plundered and several of the guardians of those mounds butchered, and the Reghed travelling through their territories in pursuit of the PC's and consequently telling the Uthgardt about these marauders, and thus the seeds of a super alliance are sowed.

The super alliance is a long way off, mind you, but if the PC's continue to antagonise the parties involved, it could speed up significantly. As things stand, the alliance between the Elk Tribe and Ten-Towns has already been shattered, and has helped facilitate a possible war alliance with other Reghed tribes, and so the Ten Towns are now not only facing the possible threat of a barbarian attack, but they won't be getting anymore assistance against the frost giants or orcs.

And they just got done murdering a lord of Yartar and several citizens, making further enemies along the trading route to and from Waterdeep. That's going to make things interesting when they find they have to return to Yartar and resurrect that lord...
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I'm getting worried that the players won't connect the dots that Iymrith is the advisor to Serissa (I changed her name because the giants would surely know the name of a ancient blue dragon given that they are mortal enemies, I did give her blue hair as a hint to my players).

In the adventure the only clue is some terrible sleep-scratching by the captain of the ship holding Hekaton (really uninspired IMHO).

I think I'm going to have the river boat boss also know about Iymrith and spill the beans (or at least a few more of the beans).

As for the captain I'm going to have his orders from Iymrith pinned to the wall above his desk as a reminder of why he has been cursed - but the promise of great reward on Tiamat's return is all that's keeping him going.
 

Motorskills

Villager
I'm getting worried that the players won't connect the dots that Iymrith is the advisor to Serissa (I changed her name because the giants would surely know the name of a ancient blue dragon given that they are mortal enemies, I did give her blue hair as a hint to my players).

In the adventure the only clue is some terrible sleep-scratching by the captain of the ship holding Hekaton (really uninspired IMHO).

I think I'm going to have the river boat boss also know about Iymrith and spill the beans (or at least a few more of the beans).

As for the captain I'm going to have his orders from Iymrith pinned to the wall above his desk as a reminder of why he has been cursed - but the promise of great reward on Tiamat's return is all that's keeping him going.
See above, Felgolos is great for that. He doesn't know that Iymrith is masquerading as a Storm Giant, but he would refuse to call her "Doom of the Desert". Have him appear in halfling and/or bronze form. You don't need The Flying Misfortune, but it is an option.
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
I'll get to my enhancements as the campaign progresses (mostly added content, especially levels 1-5), but so far my party cleared Nightstone of goblins, and then...when the Seven Snakes showed up, they said, "Okay, all yours, bye." And they left for the Dripping Caves. So they roll out of town (they have a gypsy wagon...they're a traveling carnival troupe) and the Snakes raise the drawbridge. Then the orcs show up, but the party manages to evade them as twenty orcs on the move don't exactly sneak up on you. The orcs head for Nightstone as the party skirts around them and heads to the Dripping Caves. At level 2.

They don't look for alternate entrances. The druid goes in as a weasel, hears and smells goblins and some unfamiliar things. The half-elf monk tries to sneak in and is immediately spotted by the goblin archers. There are six PCs, but they still get their asses handed to them. One dead (his "cousin" shows up looking for him after the fight), several unconscious bodies dragged from the cave in the general retreat. They did manage to kill the ogres and several goblins. They take a long rest and I level them up to 3rd. Now they go back to the cave, there's a crude sign out front reading "WE MAKE PEESE," but they're pissed off, 3rd level, and don't offer Boss Hark anything he can work with. Boss Hark has deployed his rats out to the ogres' nest, along with a couple goblin archer reinforcements on the ledges, and he's got Morak in his cave with a knife to his throat, but the PCs call his bluff and he waits too long to follow through. There's some more tough fighting but the PCs get it done and rescue the villagers.

They repeatedly point out what a rough stretch this little town in the middle of nowhere has had: giants drop rocks on you and steal your eponymous megalith, you retreat to goblin-infested caves, the goblins loot your town, the carnival troupe shows up and clears it only to have the Zhents arrive and occupy it, then an orc war-party shows up and attacks it again. Who's wearing the amulet of monster attraction?

Now it's back to Nightstone where I have to figure out what happened between the Ear Seekers vs. The Seven Snakes, Kella and the guards.
 

Daern

Villager
Alright! We are back in the saddle. Two weeks in a row. Both roleplay heavy sessions. Players are leery of taking on more than they can handle. 10th level mostly. Closing in on 11. They got the Maelstrom Horn (its a dragon horn in my game) from Queen Guh. I had to have an attendant goblin chase them down and tell them where it was. But the players were not so ready to attend the Maelstrom Court. A while back they had stolen a flying ship from a gang of dragon cultists. This ship was stolen back by its rightful owner while the group explored the Temple of Annam. But the players can't let it go. For one thing, it contains a massive horde of treasure and I have been gouging them terribly to buy potions and such. Also, players hate it when things are stolen.
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
Continuing from #350...

Our heroes defeated Boss Hark and his minions, but they had to explore the rest of the Dripping Caves as the villagers were filing out. Four of them went through the Blob's cave, and then split into two groups (thematically appropriate...). The Blob follows the two PCs who are heading down the tunnel to the pool. Fortunately, the trailing character notices the Blob oozing up behind her. Unfortunately, she's a wizard so the Blob one-shots her anyway. The druid throws a healing word at her, she disengages, and they both retreat into the pool. The druid is better at this, being a water genasi.

The barbarian and the monk, who were exploring down the east-west tunnel, hear the commotion and come running back. Only one of them can get at the Blob in the narrow tunnel. The barbarian dashes up...and the Blob crits. For 50 points of damage. He was the only character who wouldn't have been killed outright, I believe.

They explore the tunnel leading north across the fissure, but only for about ten minutes. It leads somewhere. We'll return to it in a later post...

Anyway, they get the villagers back to Nightstone, where the drawbridge is up and maybe half a dozen orc heads are mounted on spikes. Xolkin lets them in and reports that they killed off half the orcs before they withdrew. The guards from the keep fought valiantly, but sadly none of them survived. There are four fresh graves in the graveyard...

Xolkin tells the heroes that "reinforcements" are on route from Daggerford, and he installs Daphne Featherstone as the new Lady. Daphne is genuinely heartbroken about the death of Lady Nandar, but yeah, she goes along with it. Problem is, says Xolkin, they captured one of the orcs and it seems there's a lot more of them.

So this is my first big addition to the published material. I'm solving two (perceived) problems: The leveling pace from 3 to 5 is way too fast, and the orc attack has nothing to do with anything. So I look around and I see there are Iceshield orcs at Grudd Haug. Okay, so the Ear Seekers are a clan of Iceshield orcs. I grab Scourge of the Sword Coast, which I know has several adventure locations in and around Ardeep Forest, and here's the ruins of Harpshield Castle infested with three "tribes" of orcs: Jagged Scythe, Gory Maul, and Fanged Moon. So those are now "clans" of the Iceshield tribe, too, along with the Ear Seekers. The captive gives up the location and a bit of information, and Xolkin hires the heroes to deal with the orc threat to "his town." (Granted, he paid them with money looted from the town and the keep, which the heroes never got to loot themselves because they split when the Snakes showed up.)

So the heroes head through Ardeep Forest toward the ruins of Harpshield Castle. They discover a camp occupied by the remnants of the Ear Seekers, and lure them into an ambush which is nonetheless a tough fight. They try to grab a rest, and I roll a natural 20 for random encounters, so a roving band of Jagged Scythe orcs show up looking for trouble. The heroes give it to them, but now they're desperate for a rest. We'll see what the dice have to say on Saturday.

One cool thing about Scourge of the Sword Coast: We're playing on Roll20 and the adventure locations feature Mike Schley maps. I popped them in and did the dynamic lighting, and everything fits together with SKT pretty seamlessly.

Next time I check in, we'll see how they deal with Harpshield and "The Pale Chief." There's good intel to be had in there about the Iceshield orcs and their larger allies, which will also tie all the orc-killing into the main storyline.
 
Last edited:
So, I've changed a bunch of stuff in order for SKT to make any lick of sense. I have to list a few of those things in order to ask a question about how to go about things.

I took over DM'ing from someone else who ran the group I was playing in through Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Our group sided with Blagothkus and he came with us and we killed the white dragon and then pretty much all of the major dangers left in the sky castle. So I fast-forwarded things by saying that Blagothkus was now free to message his cloud-giant bros and tell them of the location of the summoning. A whole bunch of sky castles dropping rock bombs on the cultists stopped the ritual and they all went back to Parnast for a beer. My character stayed with Blagothkus because he was an aarakocra monk who loved the idea of these sky castles and wanted to learn more. The others left for Waterdeep and got their new mission: something was happening in Nightstone.

Anyway, my character had a nest brother in the party and that player changed to a different character. So I had it that his aarakocra character left suddenly and then reappeared at Nighstone with Zaphyros. He said that my character had contacted him by Sending Stone to inform him that Blagothkus had betrayed him and he was in trouble so that's why he left. They met with the Zhentarim, Felgolos came along and helped them out a bit and then on finding out about the Nightstone and it's purpose (I made it an artefact of Ostoria that was lost during the dragon/giant wars and could prevent dragons from being able to fly in a large radius on activation), Felgolos flew off after it. Blagothkus was the one who took it with him and wrecked the town.

Now, fast forward to going to Lyn Armaal. My old character was the one that was turned into simulacra and stuffed and mounted. They've also gone to the Eye and gotten the vengeance mission from Eigeron. And they also heard Felgolos screaming. They made a "deal" with Sansuri that she would use the conch to teleport them but she needed at least a day to contact the storm giants and warn them of their coming. She never intended to do that but she needed a ruse to get the PC's to cooperate and go to a room to be locked in for torture/questioning later. They also found out the it was Felgolos screaming and negotiated for his release, finding that Sansuri didn't know the location of the Eye of the All Father and that was valuable to her. She agreed to it and had them taken to Felgolos. But they also let slip that Eigeron's ghost was there. Blagothkus is replacing Cressaro as Sansuri's consort in Lyn Armaal. He heard them mention the Eye and Eigeron and so escorted them to Felgolos. There as an exchange and he was intimidated into agreeing to help them out to keep his secret (that he knew the location of the Eye and didn't tell Sansuri).

Unfortunately for everyone, Sansuri was invisible and listening in the entire time. Once the PC's were in with Felgolos and her aarakocra had entered in behind them and closed off the exit, she told Blagothkus that his treachery will be dealt with, ordered the simulacra to imprison the PC's, and slammed/locked the door on them.

A brutal battle later (I made the aarakocra into simulacra of MY 8th-level character, a monk, and 20 of them against 5 11th-level PC's, so... stun, stun, stun, stun, etc.) and two close calls, they finally defeated the birds and freed Felgolos. I've beefed up Felgolos a little bit by giving him more spells than the variant would normally allow (his 3e stats are insanely OP so I didn't go that far) and magic resistance and a bit more hit points. Enough to bump him up to 16 CR. He can regenerate his own wounds to full health and use heal on one PC. But the PCs are severely depleted even with that, having used a lot of their resources for that one battle.

They've put an immovable rod against the door so that will hold it... for awhile, but not long enough for a short rest.

So now my question: what would the logical next action be of Sansuri and Blagothkus after say, ten minutes had elapsed and her aarakocra hadn't reported back?
 

Blake Parris

Villager
Cool set up, I'll prbly add in blagothkuss to my campaign too. What did you do with his cloud castle? (I'm not running hoarde just skt but will put him in as an ally of imutyth, from before the ordering broke. Will probably have going after him as a side quest and have the dragon cultists be imuryths and have the white dragon be a blue relative of imuryth instead). Sansuri could send a number of giants to bang on it or gaseous form under a crack in the door? Or a few in conjunction could telekinesis the door open the other way? Also if you wanted to be sneaky she has a level 7 slot you could replace it with teleport and bamf in with some reinforcements.
 
Last edited:

Daern

Villager
Chaos in the Maelstrom Court!
We had guests so they played the storm giant sisters Mirran and Nym. It was awesome. They were way more evil than I could have made them. Imryth was unmasked but escaped without the sceptor. Mirran snatched it from the elf wizard who had used a Time Stop (!) scroll to snatch it from Imryth. Mirran then claimed the throne and packed Serissa off to the dungeon. She then told the party to scram, though not before they found a certain wooden coin with a goose on it they recognized from 10 months(RL) ago! (A player even drew the goose during the session way back then, so I handed that drawing back to the group. Still took a while to remember.)
Now the group is on the trail of Hekaton, wants to return to depose the vile queen and still is hoping to fight Klauth for their flying ship... good times.
 

Greg Benage

Explorer
Continuing from #352...

My players surprised me! They found the grick burrow and went in through the dungeons below Harpshield Castle instead of launching their usual frontal assault. They found the orcs' treasure room. In the original Scourge of the Sword Coast, one of the items discovered was a map, described as such:

"In Orcish using Dwarven runes, territory on the map is marked as a “new domain” (it’s land to be given to the orcs after the Red Wizards come to power). The area includes all the land between the Ardeep Forest and the Forlorn Hills, including the House of Stone as a fortress. Bloodgate Keep is noted much like Harpshield is: it seems to be an important but unnamed site for future orc holdings."

So...now it's a map of the same region, roughly, but marked with Orcish and Giant runes. I'm playing on Roll20 and I've had most of the big regional map concealed -- the players just know a relatively narrow strip of the Sword Coast from Waterdeep down to Daggerford. Now I reveal a larger rectangular chunk corresponding to this map. It's clear that the Iceshield orcs have been promised new lands to the west and south of their traditional lands along the western edge of the High Forest. They're trying to seize strongpoints: That's why they're at Harpshield Castle, and it's why they were reconnoitering Ardeep Forest and attacked Nightstone.

The map also reveals Grudd Haug, identifying it (in Giant) as a hill giant steading. So it's now a "live" location the PCs can go check out whenever they feel like it. Most importantly, I've woven the random orc encounter into the larger storyline early on, all while adding some much-needed low-level content.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Question on Slarkrathel...

This Kraken has a bunch of spells at its disposal, one of which is Teleport. So why on earth when the Morkoth is under attack does it take an hour to arrive?! (I know... for plot reasons).

I'm going to have the Kraken arrive the round after Tholtz Daggerdark is engaged in combat, but I'm not going to have the Kraken immediately start to destroy the ship - that seems ridiculous.

The Kraken will aid the ship's crew and only if it seems that all is lost will the Kraken resort to trying to wreck the ship and take Hekaton.
 

Blake Parris

Villager
I have a couple ideas about the kraken, I agree with a few of the people on this thread that having the kraken society and imuryth both as bad guys is a little off, but the kraken appearing seems like a fun plot device. I'm thinking of trying to find a way for imuryth to actually control the kraken(I'm thinking an ancient dragon relic, a giant magical spike/spear that she drives in to the krakens head, have it always crackle with electricity), maybe giving her limited telepathic abilities. It'd also be a potentially cool visual. Then have there be gossip among the dragon cultists that the party run into(like the ones on the airship) that lots of members of the kraken society have been joining imuryths faction of cultists. I'm also thinking of instead of an earth elemental influencing the stone giant thane, have it be imuryth through the magic stalactite(have it be the remains of a dead elemental that she is tapping Into) using her new kraken powers. That way I can throw in more references to her, maybe have her scream at the party in the stone giant cave(or have it turn into a stone dragon weaker, young blue dragon variant or something, version of her for an extra layer to that fight after the thane is killed). At the final battle with her at her lair, I could have her threaten to send the kraken to wipe out the party members home village if they don't spare her(a few of my party are from an island village so it makes sense). What do you guys think?
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I have a couple ideas about the kraken, I agree with a few of the people on this thread that having the kraken society and imuryth both as bad guys is a little off, but the kraken appearing seems like a fun plot device.
I'm combining Storm King's Thunder with Tyranny of Dragons so there is no Kraken society for me. The Kraken is an ancient foe of the storm giants (in my FR at least :) ) and so is in league with the Dragon cult simply because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I'm thinking of trying to find a way for imuryth to actually control the kraken(I'm thinking an ancient dragon relic, a giant magical spike/spear that she drives in to the krakens head, have it always crackle with electricity), maybe giving her limited telepathic abilities. It'd also be a potentially cool visual.
That does sound cool!

Then have there be gossip among the dragon cultists that the party run into(like the ones on the airship) that lots of members of the kraken society have been joining imuryths faction of cultists. I'm also thinking of instead of an earth elemental influencing the stone giant thane, have it be imuryth through the magic stalactite(have it be the remains of a dead elemental that she is tapping Into) using her new kraken powers. That way I can throw in more references to her, maybe have her scream at the party in the stone giant cave(or have it turn into a stone dragon weaker, young blue dragon variant or something, version of her for an extra layer to that fight after the thane is killed). At the final battle with her at her lair, I could have her threaten to send the kraken to wipe out the party members home village if they don't spare her(a few of my party are from an island village so it makes sense). What do you guys think?
Not sure I totally followed this last bit - but sure, it sounds like it will give the players some tough decisions to make!
 

Daern

Villager
I'm gonna have Hekaton strapped to a dragon turtle, floating in the sea near the purple rocks.
The characters have the golden goose token clue which they know will bring them back to the sorcerer Yau Ping. They still want to steal his bag of holding. I think the bag will hold a letter from Imryth with instructions on how the barbarians should feed the dragon turtle to keep it near their islands.
 

Advertisement

Top