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[FR] Adventure ideas for the Sword Coast and the North

Ymdar

Explorer
After playing a lot of Pathfinder I came back to 5e and Forgotten realms only to find that the plot hooks for 5e FR are a bit lacking for me in the Sword Coast and the North. After reading the swag twice, the only adventure ideas I could decipher from the book are:
  • The citaldels of the dwarves are becoming silent
  • Rebuilding of Waterdeep and(or?) Neverwinter
  • The mayor of a town I did not really care about possibly killed someone
  • Some islanders who were protecting Waterdeep lost their jobs
  • It is still difficult to enter into Candlekeep
  • The zentarim are planning something (again!) or not
  • Elturgard/Najara has a load of plot hooks from attacking or infiltrating yuan-ti to the aging leader, possibly vampires still around somewhere, even a possible Prince Arthas scenario (warcraft3/wow)
  • Housing problems in Evereska
  • Uthgardt barbarians killing everyone who enters their land
  • The warlock's crypt is a big dungeon
  • The Arcane Brotherhood and the drows are always plotting

This list is not really creative compared to the Cheliaxian plots, the barbarian lands plagued by robots, the test of starstone, the youth potion, the phaorah who is paying adventurers to clear the pyramids of his country from his mummy ancestors and the two (or three) separate living gods in Pathfinder. I am in the process of stealing some of these ideas for my FR game but:

Does anyone have any adventure ideas which did not appear in published adventures for far reaching / political / epic or interesting adventures especially for North of FR and sword coast?

Surprisingly I find a lot more potential plots for other regions in the world including an ongoing campaign where the characters are trying to forge a military alliance between the dales of Dalelands to protect them against Sembia.
 

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Wiseblood

Adventurer
From a DM standpoind it is a bit dry.

I love the movie Predator. It has a lot going on.
*Elite team
*cover story to get the team in "rescue cabinet minister"
*red flags and here is where it gets sticky
-additional team member from someones past
-subtle clues "does this cabinet minster always.
travel on the wrong side of the border?"
-discovery of another "rescue team" oddly.
enough they were elite and in a surveilance.
bird (a spy helicopter)
-hostages, presumably cabinet minister's guys,
in hostile compound
*attack the compound
*discovery that it was all a dupe when Dillon reveals the real purpose of the mission was to gather intel and stop a hostile invasion

All the while a sense of doom settles on the characters.

And then they get attacked by a monster. Which has some striking similarities to the Ogre Mage.
 
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BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I think they focused less on the Sword Coast for hooks since all the AL expeditions have been set there.

That's my theory anyway.
 

Ymdar

Explorer
I'm glad nobody disagrees on the tastelessness of the Sword Coast. What are AL expeditions?
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I'm glad nobody disagrees on the tastelessness of the Sword Coast. What are AL expeditions?
With each 5e adventure release there has been an Adventurers League Season.

These seasons consist of a series of small adventures that could be played together as a series or separately. Which makes sense since Adventurers League is a public game and it's expected that players will come and go.

Some of these have been released for free in the Dragon+ magazine. Like this one: https://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/DDEX31_HarriedHillsfar.pdf.
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
After playing a lot of Pathfinder I came back to 5e and Forgotten realms only to find that the plot hooks for 5e FR are a bit lacking for me in the Sword Coast and the North.
I feel your pain.

I tried to remedy things a bit with the Clack in my Neverwinter sourcebook (see my Sig).

I've cut and paste a few entries from it here:

* The merchant Guthkort Arnhast was found injured and bleeding on the street in front of his mansion in the Protector's Enclave. Neighbors claim Guthkort threw himself out of an open second story window to escape his own house, and that strange, inhuman noises emanate from within. For his part, Guthkort claims his dwelling is cursed: The doors of his abode shut of their own accord, and whenever he opens them he runs the risk of being confronted with wild places far from Neverwinter. Sometimes horrible beasts lurk on the other side.

* Among the lamp carriers whose services are oft utilized to light the way for night travelers in Neverwinter, a fantastical tail has been shared. A Neverwintan noble of some repute was attacked and struck senseless by two of their number. The first lamp carrier transformed into a gryphon, while the second became a large python that coiled around the noble and hoisted itself and its captive onto the gryphon, which took to the air and disappeared into the night sky.

* Beleaguered merchants, newly arrived in Neverwinter in the company of loyal knights pledged to the defense of Thornhold and the surrounding lands, claim a Beast Lord has arisen in the heart of the Kryptgarden Forest. The knights fought off a pack of crazed owlbears and perytons that decimated a mounted patrol out of Waterdeep and attacked the convoy of merchants. The creatures bore strange azure marks on their bodies and moved with frightening speed. The few creatures that escaped made straight for the dark depths of the Kryptgarden.

* The disappearance of several minor Waterdhavian noble families have sent rumors up and down the length of Sword Coast like tremors from an earthquake. Some claim a Deepwinter purge of nobility by the Masked Lords of Waterdeep is underway. Others say a magical plague has swept away the noble houses. Some whisper that grim war between nobles has returned to Waterdeep, with the lesser houses first to fall victim to internecine fighting. Few mercenary companies winter in Waterdeep, leaving merchants, nobles and guild houses to compete with each other over the hiring of adequate protection against the battles to come. Adventurers and mercenaries alike are hastening to the city.

* The Holy Host of Kelemvor, comprised of clerics, sellswords and devout followers of the god of the dead, has arrived in Neverwinter by boat from Baldur's Gate. Led by the Doomguide Tathanter Ebonhand, the Host claims negligence on the part of Lord Neverember has allowed the Neverdeath graveyard to become corrupted and fallen under the sway of foul influence, leaving the city awash in spirits seeking their final rest. Tathanter and his followers intend to scour Neverdeath of its corruption, with or without Lord Neverember’s permission.

* Drow surface raids have forced merchants on the roads north of Neverwinter to turn back for the city. The dark elves spare the lives of anyone who gives no resistance, and thoroughly search each caravan, taking any items of magic they find. The merchant Chelios Khor claims the drow, "flow out of the shadows and melt back into them after robbing us of everything of value!" Khor, having twice been robbed by the dark elves, has offered gold and treasure in payment to anyone bold enough to ride the northern trade routes and slay drow. Pairs of drow ears may be brought to Khor's merchant warehouse located along the Neverwinter Docks and presented to his factor for payment.

* The murder of Doomguide Tathanter Ebonhand has left the Holy Host of Kelemvor leaderless and in shock. Rumor claims Tathanter met his end in his own bedchambers, after being skewered by several longsword-wielding suits of empty plate armor bathed in green fire. The floating suits of armor escaped through the shattered upper floor window by which they came. Members of the Host saw the armor make for the docks, while dockworkers swear the armor disappeared among the moored ships from the Dusk Ports of Returned Abeir. That same night, the paupers that dwell near Neverdeath graveyard claim a floating suit of armor made for the center of the graveyard and vanished.

Lastly...

* Day and night, the regulars of the Thousand Faces tavern debate the significance of a bizarre event that unfolded there in the last tenday. All agree that a stranger to the Tavern arrived unheralded and removed one of the many mirrors adorning the tavern walls and spoke a word of magic; that the stranger stretched the mirror as though it were made of dough, widening and elongating it; that trustworthy regulars watched the traveler stand the much larger mirror in front of an old mannequin standing in one corner of the tavern and beckon it to come forward; that the mannequin, now animated by unseen magic, stepped into the mirror and vanished, only to be replaced by a tall, black-haired elf in battered armor; that the traveler bowed deeply before the elf and said, "Majesty, we must return to Silverymoon before the next full moon or the Gentle Ghost will give the task of finding your kinsman to another," before pocketing the now shrunken mirror and hustling the bewildered elf out the door and into the night. None can say who the elf was or what land she ruled over.


Hope this helps!
 

hastur_nz

First Post
Luskan should be ripe for a whole campaign's worth, you just have to read up on the trashing it got in 4e, then ignore the vague retcon it got in 5e where everything somehow became like it was 100 years prior, and imagine what things might really be like given how much of a lawless cesspit it became. So the Ships are back in charge, and the Arcane Brotherhood is back in town (and also working in various towns / cities north and south), but it should be early days, ripe for conflict and adventure; a city trying to re-build, but not a lawful type city like Neverwinter or Waterdeep - a pirate city!

Personally I gave it a crack, using an edited version of "Murder in Baldur's Gate", and when the PC's fled the city on a flying cloud giant castle (nearly dead), Luskan was under attack from Frost Giants, and Orcs etc were marching from out of the Spine of the World, looking to trash the place. Our focus has moved elsewhere, but the desire of that drow dude to get Luskan into the Lord's Alliance, is one of the driving plot points for me, which is terribly thought out and presented in the books, but if you can make sense of it yourself (or just suspend disbelief), you can make it work. That and the various schemes of the various Ships, Brotherhood, and the criminal underground elements that are still around from the 4e days.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
While it does not have a whole adventure's worth of content focusing on the Sword Coast, Storm King's Thunder has a few chapters that give good encounters (not all giant themed), NPCs, and side quests for the sword coast and surrounding areas. The chapter that speed levels the party from 1 to 5 is quite fun.
 

cooperjer

Explorer
As mentioned above, Storm Kings Thunder, takes place in the Savage North. Princes of the Apocalypse might be located in the Savage North since it's in the Dessarin Valley. Of the two I would recommend Storm Kings Thunder. I'm a fan of the work by Kobold Press which has some flexible location adventures such as Shadows of the Dusk Queen, Wrath of the River King, The Raven's Call, and The Tomb of Mercy.
 

Ymdar

Explorer
Good ideas so far.
It would seem like instead of giving proper plot hooks, Wizards publishes adventures instead? I don't mind these but once you play through one it is not usable. On the other hand plot hooks can be reused or you can invent one after reading a few. My problem was that the scag did not even hint what was happening in most places.
 

hastur_nz

First Post
Good ideas so far.
It would seem like instead of giving proper plot hooks, Wizards publishes adventures instead? I don't mind these but once you play through one it is not usable. On the other hand plot hooks can be reused or you can invent one after reading a few. My problem was that the scag did not even hint what was happening in most places.
SCAG is basically designed for Players, alas us DM's need to look further and/or make stuff up.
 


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