Looking for good "against the cult" adventures - preferably urban

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I'm looking for good adventures that pits the party against a (preferably) hidden cult in an urban setting. If the cult is devil worshipers or similar, even better, though anything will do. An Aboleth/Far Realm cult is also great!

The party will be unravelling the machinations of the cult of Asmodeus in Neverwinter/Waterdeep, so I'm looking for great adventures to use/steal from. I know of the Living Forgotten Realms adventures for 4E that are Asmodean cult based (those taking place in Neverwinter and Waterdeep), and knoe the Monte Cook adventure "Night of Dissolution".

It doesn't have to be a devil cult, edition doesn't matter. Can also be from a paizo adventure path etc. Any suggestions? Thanks.


Oh, and a Mind Flayer plot a la 3E's "The Speaker in Dreams" is of great interest as well. :)
 

tolcreator

Villager
Both the Tyranny of Dragons and the Elemental Evil seasons on D&D Adventure League feature actions against against cults ( dragon and elemental respectively ) in an urban setting ( Phlan, Mulmaster )
Not sure how "culty" the dragon adventures are ( I don't have them but they provide a background to the Elemental Evil ones ) but I'm starting to run some of the Elemental Evil ones, and I'm opening with "The Yellow Breath" which is textbook cult. I plan on following it up with "Cloaks and Shadows", which again features a cult in the city. They're quite low level mind you ( 3ish 4ish ) and fairly short ( can be done in one good session with a focused group... tho my group are not focused, and our roll20 sessions are fairly short, so I expect more like three sessions per adventure )
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
The first thing that came to mind is Against the Cult of the Reptile God, in large part due to the name. The town it is set in isn't anywhere near a big city like Neverwinter though. However, it does have a cult, centered around a Naga, that is brainwashing townsfolk. With some tweaking, set in a smaller district of one of the cities, it might suit your purposes.
 

muppetmuppet

Explorer
I ran core 1-4 and core 1-7 which maybe fit into your idea. They are again lfr 4e modules. They are set in Awn/islands off Awn but easily moved.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
Both the Tyranny of Dragons and the Elemental Evil seasons on D&D Adventure League feature actions against against cults ( dragon and elemental respectively ) in an urban setting ( Phlan, Mulmaster )
Not sure how "culty" the dragon adventures are ( I don't have them but they provide a background to the Elemental Evil ones ) but I'm starting to run some of the Elemental Evil ones, and I'm opening with "The Yellow Breath" which is textbook cult. I plan on following it up with "Cloaks and Shadows", which again features a cult in the city. They're quite low level mind you ( 3ish 4ish ) and fairly short ( can be done in one good session with a focused group... tho my group are not focused, and our roll20 sessions are fairly short, so I expect more like three sessions per adventure )
Thanks' I'll check them out!

The first thing that came to mind is Against the Cult of the Reptile God, in large part due to the name. The town it is set in isn't anywhere near a big city like Neverwinter though. However, it does have a cult, centered around a Naga, that is brainwashing townsfolk. With some tweaking, set in a smaller district of one of the cities, it might suit your purposes.
I understand it's a classic for a reason. Does the "reptile" refer to the Naga, or is the cult worshiping a scaly god?

I ran core 1-4 and core 1-7 which maybe fit into your idea. They are again lfr 4e modules. They are set in Awn/islands off Awn but easily moved.
Could you give some details on what these are about?

The Styles from GoS fits the description.
Ah yes, The Styes. Still waiting for my copy of GoS, but remember it from Dungeon way back. Memory is hazy, though. How is the %e version?


Thanks, all. Any other suggestions?
 

collin

Explorer
I recommend staying away from Tyranny of Dragons. Having played in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, it is poorly written, way too long (unless you like that thing), and although it does have some urban sites during the adventure. It was written by a 3rd party, not WotC, and was released too soon - should have had more editing eyes on it. Not sure if Rise of Tiamat is any better, but it is a higher level adventure.

Are you looking for a Forgotten Realms setting or does that matter?
 

muppetmuppet

Explorer
Could you give some details on what these are about?


SPOILERS for lfr 4e core 1-4, 1-7.





The Abolethic Sovereignty are trying to take over the world as usual. They have found a way to make Iomic crystals act as receptors for Abberrant energies. Mission one is people in the town are turning into mutants find the cause and eliminate it, which leads to the crystal mines in the next mission. I then ran a Cthulu type adventure and that led to Xiphu the Aboleth city and am just about to finish the series with Assault on Myth Nantar where the final battle against a demon prince will be the start of the next session. Feel free to ask for more detail not sure what you want to know.
 

Grumbleputty

Villager
I wrote a supplement to Waterdeep: Dragon Heist called Cruel Summer on the DM's Guild that takes the Summer story arc (which already has a hidden cult to Asmodeus) and blends in a demonic cult that is working against them. It's decidedly urban, and draws the party into a gumshoe-style detective story - but it does assume you own Waterdeep- Dragon Heist, so it's not written as a stand-alone adventure. Still, you could probably chop it up and use elements of it for your own plot.
 

tolcreator

Villager
I recommend staying away from Tyranny of Dragons. Having played in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, it is poorly written, way too long (unless you like that thing), and although it does have some urban sites during the adventure. It was written by a 3rd party, not WotC, and was released too soon - should have had more editing eyes on it. Not sure if Rise of Tiamat is any better, but it is a higher level adventure.
Note I was recommending the DDAL adventures from the Tyranny of dragons season, rather than Tyranny of dragons itself.
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/170765/DDEX1-Tyranny-of-Dragons-Complete-Bundle-BUNDLE

You can pick out individual ones that look interesting rather than buying the whole bundle, making it a much cheaper option than any of the hardback adventure books. I've not run any of the Tyranny of Dragons ones. They don't really look like "hidden" cults tho, as the Dragon Cult seems pretty overt in their takeover of Phlan!

The cults in The Yellow Breath and Cloaks and Shadows are hidden, however.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I recommend staying away from Tyranny of Dragons. Having played in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, it is poorly written, way too long (unless you like that thing), and although it does have some urban sites during the adventure. It was written by a 3rd party, not WotC, and was released too soon - should have had more editing eyes on it. Not sure if Rise of Tiamat is any better, but it is a higher level adventure.

Are you looking for a Forgotten Realms setting or does that matter?
I think the poster meant the AL season 1 adventures, and not the Tyranny of Dragons adventures themselves.

Setting doesn't matter, as long as the basics are bog standard D&D.

Edit: Ah, poster already replied :)
 

collin

Explorer
Note I was recommending the DDAL adventures from the Tyranny of dragons season, rather than Tyranny of dragons itself.
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/170765/DDEX1-Tyranny-of-Dragons-Complete-Bundle-BUNDLE

You can pick out individual ones that look interesting rather than buying the whole bundle, making it a much cheaper option than any of the hardback adventure books. I've not run any of the Tyranny of Dragons ones. They don't really look like "hidden" cults tho, as the Dragon Cult seems pretty overt in their takeover of Phlan!

The cults in The Yellow Breath and Cloaks and Shadows are hidden, however.
Sorry, my bad. I see what you meant now. That is a good suggestion.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Try Matt Colville's adventurelookup.com maybe?
I second this recommendation. Here's the link: https://www.adventurelookup.com/adventures/

Also: I really like Tyranny of Dragons and don't think it deserves the bad rep it has on this site. BUT, I also don't think it fits what you're looking for in this case, since the "urban" parts are mostly council meetings and the actual adventuring parts tend to be out in more remote locations.
 

pogre

Adventurer
If you are not adverse to a conversion, 1st edition WFRP's Shadows Over Bogenhafen is my favorite against the cult module of all time.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
If you are not adverse to a conversion, 1st edition WFRP's Shadows Over Bogenhafen is my favorite against the cult module of all time.
GW really does the best cult related stuff. I don't love WHFRP mechanically, but they write good material and they write great creeping darkness cult infestation adventures.
 

Riley37

Villager
I think the poster meant the AL season 1 adventures, and not the Tyranny of Dragons adventures themselves.
I ran most of the AL Season 1 adventures, some at a store game and some as a home game. I have read, but not played, "Tyranny of Dragons".

Here's my thought: the AL Season 1 adventures can be fun, one by one, but they don't actually tell the DM much about the cult as a whole. They'll name, and stat-block, one cultist, so that the PCs can intercept that cultist and foil that cultist's specific mission (such as Spernik, in The Courting of Fire, DDEX1-5). Here are some questions never answered: Why did Spernik join the cult? If he had succeeded in his mission, to whom would he report? Does the cult have a general strategy, which motivates each of their various plots and missions? Does the cult get funding from wealthy members, and if so, who are they? Are any members of the city's government or major institutions (guilds, temples, etc.) involved with the cult? Is the cult's chapter in Phlan run by a strongman leader, or a committee? Does Tiamat herself have any influence within the cult? Is the Lord Regent of Phlan aware of the cult's presence in the city, and if so, does he have any opinion?

So if you have players whose PCs spend their lives drinking at the tavern, and only emerge when some NPC comes into the tavern to engage them, and if they return to the tavern giving each other high-fives, "we foiled them again!", without taking any initiative to learn what's going on and why... then DDEX 1-1 through 1-10 is just right for your players.

For all I know, Tiamat thinks the cult is a terrible idea and wishes they would just go away. Which could be amusing; but that's my idea. The DDEX modules say nothing one way or another.

"Tyranny of Dragons" apparently assumes that any successes the PCs had, in any of the DDEX modules, *had no effect*, because "Tyranny" starts with the Cult invading and conquering the city of Phlan. The PCs walk into a building to observe the trial of a cultist they previously captured. If they succeeded in all the previous episodes, then so far as they know, they've stopped every cult action which crossed their paths. When they leave the building, they find that the Cult has conquered the city. Actually... a big strong dragon takes the city. Cultists assist that dragon, because of cult loyalty; but any previous connection between that dragon, and cult activity in the city, is left to the imagination of the DM.

Yes, it's that sudden. By contrast, when the Third Reich invaded Paris, at least people in Paris had enough advance warning to take the last train leaving Paris before the conquest (or not take that train, spoiler warning for "Casablanca"). Phlan apparently had no defenses, neither internal nor external, other than the city wall.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
"Tyranny of Dragons" apparently assumes that any successes the PCs had, in any of the DDEX modules, *had no effect*, because "Tyranny" starts with the Cult invading and conquering the city of Phlan.
I think you're misremembering. The adventure starts with the cult raiding and looting (not invading and conquering) a small hamlet called Greenest. The town of Phlan doesn't appear in Tyranny of Dragons at all.
 

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