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5E Help me figure out a campaign to go from 13th to 20th level using WotC APs

Uller

Adventurer
My group has played a campaign from 1st to 13th level. We started with Lost Mines (set in Nerath, not Realms...I feel like I can be less beholden to setting canon in Nerath) then at 5th level went into Princes of the Apocalypse and after finishing that we played through the Ravenloft portion of Curse of Strahd, using a beefed up CR 18 Strahd and some tougher encounters.

So now I am trying to figure out what to do next. I got them into Barovia not by having the mists transport them to Barovia but by the mists bring Barovia to Nerath (I placed it in the Dawn Forge Mountains near Harkenwold). Now that Strahd is dead, Barovia is a crumbling ruin in Nerath, her people are scattering and resettling in the Nentir Vale.

So now I am trying to decide what to do with them next...I gave them the following options:

Out of the Abyss (last half...start out at Gauntlgrym...but make them take on one or more of the Demonlords)
Tomb of Annihilation (start at Omu...move quickly through upper areas)
Rise of Tiamat
Storm King's Thunder (start with the Cloud Giants)
Hall of the Fire Giant King from Against the Giants
Tomb of Horrors.

But during the discussion I mentioned the possibility of returning to 3rd or 5th level and starting anew...they all stated they like their PCs and want to take them to 20th level. I think I can take any one or two of these adventures and make them a challenge for 14th and 15th level PCs...maybe even higher. But 18th? 20th? I'm not sure. Fighting Tiamat or several Demonlords at once I suppose...

So this has me thinking...what if we did them all at once? Maybe the destruction of the elemental nodes in PotA broke something in the multiverse...that's why Barovia appeared and trapped them into fighting Strahd. Now other convergences start to occur that throws everything out of whack...The giants aren't reschuffling their pecking order...they are going to war. Against who? Dragons and woe to those who happen to be in the way. The Dragon cultists aren't trying to summon Tiamat at first. They are trying to unite the dragons to stop the giants. Tiamat is just a really bad (but in their minds tolerable) side effect. At the same time Demonlords have started running rampant in the Underdark and that pesky Acererak is making trouble in Chult making it hard for a guy to get resurrected after getting hit in the face with the breath from an ancient red dragon.

Would it be possible to break each adventure up into smaller scenarios, place them around the map and let my PCs tackle them as they choose/discover. Everything starts out as a good challenge for level 13 PCs but things they ignore grow in strength while the ones they go after weaken. Like Whackamole on a strategic level. They could even use strategic resources like wealth and NPC allies to tamp down some troubles while they deal with others personally...

It's probably more work than I have time for. But it has me thinking.
 

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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I’m planning on an “OotA” remix called “into the Abyss” to take on the demons that have been unleashed thanks to the, hopefully, failed attempt to release Tiamat at the end of RoT. They will take on a few of the demon lords individually while traversing the Underdark, then taking on a trio near Menzobarranzan and attendant monsters for the grand finale at Level 20.

My Outline:

Level 15
Gauntlgrym
Gravenhollow, to find out what’s happening and learn about the demon lord tracker (idea planted by an aide to Graz’zt)
Labyrinth battle Yeenoghu (and friends), and retrieve a demon lord tracker (my invention)

Level 16
Neverlight grove battle Zuggtmoy

Level 17
Gracklstugh to pick up a boat to Sloobludop
Battle Demogorgon

Level 18
Blingdenstone battle a much beefed up Juiblex (and friends)

Level 19
Mantol Derith meet and perhaps battle Graz’zt (but he has a deal to offer them, he wants to be worshipped by the Drow, replacing Lolth, so he wants to be showcased battling the remaining lords and once they see him saving Menzoberranzan they’ll pledge allegiance and he’ll voluntarily leave this plane....)

Level 20
Menzoberranzan to battle the remaining lords that with the assistance, perhaps, of Graz’zt. If he does assist he of course double-crosses the PCs, attempts to take them out once they’ve been weakened and remain on this plane.

There’s a lot of hand waving of course because I want to keep things loose. But that’s the gist of it. :)
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Sounds like a bit of work to get that all up to higher levels. I seem to remember those stories ending between levels 10-15. If you want something more ready for higher levels out of the box, you could take a look at my Age of Worms conversion.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=1254

You could start them at chapter 7 which would be level appropriate and goes into the origins of Kyuss, kicking off the final half of the adventure path.
Chapter 7: Investigate the an ancient temple, learn the origins of Kyuss, fight (or not) a spellweaver lich.
Chapter 8: Attend a ball to meet a contact with information about a missing researcher of Kyuss.
Chapter 9: Head to an island of monstrous creatures to learn the location of the phylactery of Kyuss' top general.
Chapter 10: Find the phylactery in a city of giants undergoing a civil war while under attack by dozens of dragons.
Chapter 11: Head into the heart of Kyuss' stronghold to destroy Dragotha, his general.
Chapter 12: Stop Kyuss before he returns to usher in the Age of Worms.

That will easily take a group a year or more to complete and take them from their current level to level 20 (with an optional epic boon).
 
Last edited:

smbakeresq

Explorer
I put PoTA and SKT all together, ending with SKT ending. Just take out the helpers at the end, it’s fine.


Age of Worms I have played through in previous editions, and I am doing it again using Tormyr conversion, which is excellent. It’s a brutal path also.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World
 

cooperjer

Explorer
I would recommend looking at only one source book or story that will allow you to focus your work on one group. In about 8 months I'll be in a similar situation. My current plan is to run the level 15 PC team through SKT starting with the cloud giant interaction and skipping the running around the savage west portion of the book. This is a fairly linear story once characters are engaged. It will allow me to focus on increasing the encounter difficulty and modify the giants to become a challenge to the PCs. I anticipate them being near level 20 by the end.

If I were to open up the world to allow the players to change their path from game session to game session, then I would work myself to death trying to prepare maps, monsters, and encounters in the time between games.
 

Uller

Adventurer
If I were to open up the world to allow the players to change their path from game session to game session, then I would work myself to death trying to prepare maps, monsters, and encounters in the time between games.
Yeah...the more I look at it, the more I see it just isn't feasible for me. In my younger days when I had time to read and plot and plan it might have been fun to pull apart these adventures and create a high level sandbox campaign.

Added to the problem is I'm using Roll20. Each module is $50 to add to Roll20. A bit steep for one. I'd have to buy all of them or build the chapters I want on my own...Im at a stage in life where spending a $50 for several months worth of gaming is not terrible, but I'm still frugle enough that $150 or $200 is not going to happen and I don't have the time to build it all myself.

So...I think I'm back to one at a time....I'll just write up four intros and let my players pick. I can modify any one of them to cover levels 13-16 easily enough and just hit the highlights. If they want to continue to level 20...maybe Tiamat or three demonlords get loose and they have to find and fight them...
 

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