Revisiting Old Modules

I love taking modules and reworking them for different systems or adjusting them to fit a new setting or alternate adventure structure/style. It has been a while so I am fuzzy on the details but this, I believe, is the blog post describing the adventure I put together with 100 Bushels of Rye as the foundation (if I recall I brought in a lot of the core ideas and refit them to the setting). Then I am pretty sure this somehow led to the party going on an adventure that was a section taken from Feast of Goblyns (Cavern of the Undead Priestess portion I believe). This is the blog entry:

The Immortal Architect

Found the session logs (the first two should roughly cover the 100 Bushels of Rye inspired adventure, seven covers the Feast of Goblyns adventure):

Session One
Session Two
Session Seven
 

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Against the Cult of the Reptile God regularly comes up as the first recommendation for old AD&D adventures and I've run it twice. And it really does hold up. It's a good adventure. And that in a merket in which nearly all adventures are pretty terrible.

It's not immediately accessible and I had to read the whole thing twice over several years before I felt like running it, and a third time to actually really understand how it works. But the second time I ran it closer to the source, it worked really amazingly.
The secret cult hidden in the town works quite well, but I think the actual reptile lair could really use a stronger cult presence. That's where I want to to see the madmen in robes and the sacrifices on altars and such. The lair is fine as a dungeon, but it could need some dressing up as a temple instead of just being a muddy hole in the ground.
The big flaw with the adventure is that as written it wants to be an adventure for 1st level characters but insists on a boss monster that's way too strong for a first level party, and tries to solve this issue with the worst way possible in the form of a powerful NPC wizard to get the coals out of the fire for the players. Make the adventure for a higher level party or make the big monster weaker, or really anything but that.
I also think that the journey from the town to the lair could be expanded upon, but that's not really something necessary to make the other parts work.

Against the Cult of the Reptile God doesn't make it on the typical list of most famous D&D adventures. But in discussions by people who actually know a lot of old adventures and have experiences with them, it regularly makes the top of the list.
Unlike many other old adventures, it does have a plot. And unlike newer adventures, it's not a railroad. It doesn't have a set of scripted scenes that have an order to them. All the structure there is is that the players have to learn the information about where the strange events in town originate. Going there to kill the big beasty is assumed, but there's not really anything that requires it.
The main issue I had with it was that the last time I ran it was my first adventure running D&D 5th edition and those rules make it trivial to take prisoners. And the adventure doesn't really consider the possibility that the PCs will capture the first cultist that attacks them and question him about what's going on and where his friends are. That is something a GM running this should really think about in advance.
It’s good, solid adventure; with a reusable town built in. I used it several times. The Deus Ex Machina is annoying (I don’t have him join the party but instead give the party some material aid instead. There are also a few errors that I can’t remember the details on (and have to re-research every time I use it) but I’ve had fun with it with multiple game systems.
 

I ran the third adventure in Book of Crypts on Friday: The Dark Minstrel.

This is one I used to run all the time, largely because it is easy to do even if you don't have the book once you know the information. So if I was at a friends house and we all wanted to play D&D but I didn't have my Ravenloft material, this adventure was a good option.

The basic premise is quite simple. The players arrive in Claviera where they receive an invitation from Baron Lyron Evensong to attend a banquet at his mansion. Once there they feast and then are brought to his study where he plays a song for them on a harpsichord. After finishing the song, he explains that they are all trapped in the room for the next 100 years (and investigation confirms that the room is surrounded by void). The Baron doesn't want to hurt the party, he just wants them to keep him company for the 100 years night. They soon find out he is a spirit, and seemingly impossible to defeat. The players must find the Baron's weakness so they can defeat him and escape.

I quite like the premise and basic structure of the adventure. Playing it again, even decades later, I still really enjoy this aspect. It essentially takes place in a single room, so it is role-play heavy and an extremely confined investigation. The players can learn more about the situation by talking with the Baron, by reading the books on his shelves and studying features of the study. It isn't particularly difficult, I've never had a party that failed. But it is still quite fun.

The Baron is a pretty interesting character and I am realizing it fits a pattern so far with the adventure: many of the villains see themselves good and the designers take pains to create moral grayness within the parameters of the objective D&D alignment system. Obviously this is true for lots of evil NPCs, its just clear there is a conscious choice to play with this aspect of alignment in Book of Crypts.

This was always an interesting feature of Ravenloft. You can't detect Good or Evil in the demi plane, but good or evil still exist as part of the alignment system and cosmology.

Baron Evensong is something of a musician vigilante, seeing himself as extremely moral, to the extent that he acted as judge, jury and executioner for transgressions he perceived in others. He is a very enjoyable NPC to play. He sees himself as Lawful Good, when in reality he is Neutral Evil. I thought this was a good use of an alignment system that can break down under scrutiny (describing an NPC as NE but who stating they believe themselves to be LG is an easy feature to latch onto when running the character). In that respect he is walking a similar line to Dante in Blood in Moondale (a vampire who is presently CN and striving to be good by not drinking the blood of people, but rather drinking animal blood), and Victor Mordenheim as well.

The adventure itself is very well done in terms of providing lots of things for players to do. The bulk of the investigation revolves around the book shelf (though other clues exist) and I rather like the system for dealing with it which is as follows:

1664754282175.png

If the players roll anything but a 9, 10 or 11, they find books that might be interesting but don't help with solving the adventure. It generally takes an hour to skim through a given volume. If they roll a 9, 10 or 11, then they discover books such as the Baron's personal journal, a book of his poems and a book about imbuing musical instruments with magic. All of these three categories of book provide crucial details for solving the adventure. There is a similar section in the adventure dealing with sculptures in the room.

The riddle to solve is that the Baron's spirit is tethered to his harpsichord due to a spell he had cast upon it that went awry. If the players destroy the harpsichord, the mansion crumbles and they are freed.

By far this was the easiest adventure to run in the book to this point and I think it very much has to do with the simplicity of the adventure premise and the how easy it is for the GM to manage the clue finding (due to how it is organized and how elegantly it is presented).

All that said, there are some issues with the module, as with some of the other adventures around railroading and heavy handedness. Here is a good example of one such moment. The invitation the players received was cursed and whoever read it suffers phobias that do psychic damage until the players go to the mansion:

1664754196514.png


And the introductory hook is especially difficult for the party to avoid:

1664754218532.png

1664754234515.png

It is very evocative, and I like the way they bring music into the players being drawn into Evensong's domain, but it may be a concern if you want the players to have more freedom to choose not to go on the adventure or to approach the adventure from different paths. However, for monster of the week style play, I think it works well. I just made a point of telling my players in advance that these adventures would be run in a different style from my usual approach to play.

I did find a notable typo in this adventure where the Baron's name is misspelled in a key header, but otherwise it was free of any errors I could discern. I do recommend this adventure with the above caveats. I think it is useful for GMs to help them develop certain skills. Running an NPC in a room with the PCs for an entire adventure is much easier than it sounds, but it is probably something people might find daunting or challenging at first. Luckily the Baron is stark enough that I don't think this is much of an issue, and the Baron has a strong built in motivation (to keep the PCs as his guests to ward of loneliness and boredom) and the players have a strong enough built in motivation (to escape the Baron's curved room so they don't die of old age), that I think it is fairly effortless.
 

pemerton

Legend
I spent a good chunk of yesterday evening preparing a scenario for Torchbearer. The dungeon plan and backstory is mostly my own, but in terms of particular features I drew inspiration from two old modules on my shelf: the old ICE MERP module Southern Mirkwood, which has details for Dol Guldur; and and adventure card from the late 80s Greyhawk City Boxed Set, Shadows of Terror.

Neither is as interesting as the adventure @Bedrockgames describes just upthread, but I did get some interesting ideas for architecture, traps and occupants.
 

Voadam

Legend
I ran a lot of the Book of Crypts adventures in my Ravenloft campaigns and think very highly of a lot of them, particularly at the lower level end where they are very atmospheric. In my Dark Minstrel one, a PC saw the void when they opened the doors to leave the party and eventually decided that it must be an illusion to trap them so he jumped out to break it. And kept falling and falling and falling. He continued to try to disbelieve for a while, but then just started to scream. Eventually the lycanthropy he got from the Moondale adventure manifested in his freefall so there was a ticked off and terrified dwarven werewolf eternally falling through the void growing more and more insane.
 

I spent a good chunk of yesterday evening preparing a scenario for Torchbearer. The dungeon plan and backstory is mostly my own, but in terms of particular features I drew inspiration from two old modules on my shelf: the old ICE MERP module Southern Mirkwood, which has details for Dol Guldur; and and adventure card from the late 80s Greyhawk City Boxed Set, Shadows of Terror.

Neither is as interesting as the adventure @Bedrockgames describes just upthread, but I did get some interesting ideas for architecture, traps and occupants.

I remember the MERP books. I don't recall the adventure cards that well (I remember a variety of cards showing up in the 90s but wasn't a huge greyhawk person). What were they?

I like cobbling together pieces of different modules as needed. There is a really cool adventure for Ravenloft called Castles Forlorn. Not only does it have a cool castle in three different time periods with a monster who is different depending on the era, but it also includes a bunch of, I am not sure what you would call them, but just a bunch of scenarios and encounters that you can use. I like pulling from stuff like that
 

the Jester

Legend
I've been running The Secret of Bone Hill in 5e, using my "ale and whores" variant xp system (you only get xp for spending money frivolously, in ways that give you no actual benefit, such as on ale & whores). So far it has been pretty awesome. I took the time to draw out battlemats for the entire main castle on grid paper, and have been gradually unveiling them as the pcs move through the place. Good stuff!
 

pemerton

Legend
I don't recall the adventure cards that well (I remember a variety of cards showing up in the 90s but wasn't a huge greyhawk person). What were they?
I first saw them in the City of GH boxed set. And then there were some in From the Ashes. They are a two-sided cardstock page (about A4 size, though probably on an American rather than Australian standard) with a complete scenario, typically with a colour map or illustration on the front.

The other product from around the same time that resembles them is the Book of Lairs. But I think the scenarios on the adventure cards are generally better quality. (Not all. Some are bad. Some are just 5 room dungeons. But some are moderately clever!)
 

I first saw them in the City of GH boxed set. And then there were some in From the Ashes. They are a two-sided cardstock page (about A4 size, though probably on an American rather than Australian standard) with a complete scenario, typically with a colour map or illustration on the front.

The other product from around the same time that resembles them is the Book of Lairs. But I think the scenarios on the adventure cards are generally better quality. (Not all. Some are bad. Some are just 5 room dungeons. But some are moderately clever!)

That’s something I miss from the old days of gaming. You see it now occasionally (usually with kickstarters it seems), but I loved those kinds of extras that were all about making the best use of space.

The Ravenloft boxed set cans with page sized card stock sheets with images of important locations on the front for the players and a map on the back for the GM (like the orinigibal Ravenloft module they, and most other maps in the line, were 3D isometric style. Also had card stocks with setting tables, stars for local militias in each domain, etc. and there were a few domain lore portraits with background info on back.

On the size, we don’t use A4 size is the US, but I believe our closest in the US would be 8.5 by 11 inches. So if it was that measurement then it was the American Standard.
 


MGibster

Legend
It's sometimes funny what you pick up in old modules. Reading through Land of the Brave for Cyberpunk 2020 published in 1993, the characters need to take a boat down the mighty Mississippi on a boat called Varina. Varina is the name of Jefferson Davis' second wife. You find little tidbits like that in the book with Confederate flags and what not among some decent people and bad guys both. It just strikes me as an oddity because most games would shy away from that today I think. I'm just going to leave it in there. I live in the South today, and while I don't see Confederate flags every day, it's not exactly shocking to see one.
 

I ran the next adventure in Book of Crypts: The Cedar Chest. I've always liked the title of the adventure for some reason, and it has a great backstory, but it is also one of the entries in the book that I had issues with as a GM. This will have some spoilers.

Again this continues with an almost monster of the week approach (though all of these adventures can be weaved organically into a campaign when the players happen to be in the right place or through other adaptations). The premise is the players, after having been in the port town of Armeikos for a few days are approached by the captain of the constabulary, Jovis Blackwere, who asks their help solving a series of murders by a sadistic killer. As the players investigate they discover that the killer is using one of them as his host, murdering people when the player character falls asleep (and using a Sleep spell on the rest of the party). The killer is Erik Spellbender, an aging wizard who wanted immortality but lacked the power to become a lich so kludged together his own phylactery with a cedar chest and by using Magic Jar on the player character in question. The players must find out which of them is the host, and discover the cedar chest which contains the necromancer's heart so they can stab it.

Some will immediately notice a potential issue with this adventure. I think it is entirely fine to have a wizard using a PC as a host to commit murders (just as a PC who doesn't know they have lycanthropy can be an interesting development). The problem with this set up, is it imposes a backstory on the player that they just have to accept and I find that always makes it weird (even back in the 90s when I first ran it, it was a little odd). When the player discovers that they are the host, they learn about the history of Ejrik (there are other places in the adventure where these details can be uncovered as well). Among the details they learn are that they went hunting skeletons that were attacking a local village, and that these skeletons were bait set up by Ejrik:

1665842354175.png


The above is taken from Ejrik Spellbender's entry in the back of the adventure. This is what the player learns about themselves when they discover they are the host. It is a great premise, but it creates a situation where the GM has to effectively say "this happened to you some time ago". I prepared my players for this sort of development, and they are pretty good about rolling with things, but I've had players who do not like this at all. However it does offer up alternatives to this at the start of the adventure, including using an NPC:

1665842548269.png


Again, I think the premise is really good. I love the way the necromancer uses magic jar but it goes a bit awry (he only has control when the host sleeps for example, and he wants full control). Another issue that emerges is the timeline, which the adventure isn't especially clear about, and that is going to be a problem because the when and where is enormously important here. The players are investigating recent murders, but there are also crimes that happened six months ago and it just doesn't do a good job of explaining if these older crimes were committed by the PC or not, and if so, how (given that they could have been hundreds of miles away). It also does require the GM to puzzle through the initial backstory and figure out how that would have worked based on where the player character was at the time (for example if the players only entered Ravenloft weeks ago).

The mystery itself is good, at least the points of investigation they provide. One issue here is they give you a few key places fully described, but also say the adventure is open and allow the players to explore the town. It provides a town map which is very good, but the GM will need to do more work if they want further exploration to be meaningful (I think given that the adventure is ten pages, this is fair, but I would have liked to see some clever method like they had in the Dark Minstrel adventure for doing a larger exploration on the fly (even if it was just some bare bones notes).

In terms of mood and atmosphere, I think the adventure works well. A lot of the boxed text can be lengthy and if the GM falls into the trap of letting the boxed text guide the adventure, then it can be stale. If you just run it straight down, without fully exploring the points where it says let the players explore freely, then it can be a bit railroady, and because I am running these this time around as written, it felt a little linear (importantly this isn't how it would normally be run though). The players did end up breaking that linearity by getting leg shackles and shackling themselves together (which forced Ejrik to go in an unexpected direction).


I do like how it lays out the clues. The points of investigation it does provide are well done, and they are highly cinematic as well. One thing it does right is basically tell the players at the first point of investigation that one of them is the host. So rather than have to slowly figure that out (which I think would be how most writers would have handled this adventure) its out in the open and the real mystery is figuring out which one of them is the host. I really like this decision because I think it makes the adventure work much better than if they have gone the other way. I also like a lot of little details in the adventure. For example that they picked the name Blackwere for the captain because he seems to be filling a similar role to Rapacion from Blood in Moondale and it tends to get the players' suspicions up if they've been through that adventure. And then there are cool locations like this one:

1665843183249.png


Liked everything here from the home that is a "hoary, old galleon" to the woman's name: Sinara Doom (sounds very Thulsa Doom to me). Also the names over all are a good mix of sounds, which helps when trying to fit this backstory to different settings, places and worlds.

This is one entry where I am honestly on the fence. I think the core idea is wonderful. And I love the idea of a cedar chest with a necromancers heart in it that needs to be destroyed. I think the adventure has some really great parts. I think it does make good use of its ten pages to covey a sense of place. But I feel it really needed to make weaving that backstory in much easier, and it could have provided some more details (again space being a considering even something like a list). It also really doesn't tie together things like a bundle of clues the players acquire at the start of the adventure (pieces of paper with notes at the past five murder sites----these needed little more explanation in my opinion).

One thing I am also noticing about the NPC entries is many of them have very inflated stat blocks (multiple high scores, etc). I vaguely recall this might have just been how many NPCs were done back in the day but there are a few where it really feels like they shouldn't have as many high stats as they do have. This might just be personal preference though, and I am not sure which method they used to generate these stats, or if they merely assigned them (which I think is a fair way to do things for NPCs, I don't think they need to be rolled, it just feels a little off if important characters always have many very high stats. At the same time, I get the reasoning and the temptation to give NPCs 18s, 17s, etc.

All that said, I think different people will have different reactions to this one, and I do think it still provides a solid evening of entertainment. When I ran it last night, I think we finished it pretty neatly in about a little over two hours.

NOTE: I am fighting with autocorrect on these names. Think I caught all the instances where it turned people like Jovis Blackwere into Bon Jovi but just note some of these names might be inaccurate for that reason.
 

Voadam

Legend
I ran the chest one as well and it went pretty great, with a paladin being possessed and coming to grips with his body having done evil which led to a lot of great roleplaying for the paladin PC who loved it as a plot line. I had set the necromancer thing up as the background intro solo adventure for a different PC (a roomate of mine at the time) as a setup for running the chest adventure later and we gamed through it, but then that PC died during Touch of Death or Howls in the Night (I forget 30 years later) and Ejrik switched to the paladin. When it all came out the reaction of the original player (now on his third PC in the campaign) was fantastic and really satisfying. "Oh! This is . . . That means . . ." then biting his lip and saying "I know nothing. I know nothing. Oh, man. Yeah, we should stop this guy." :)

I agree that as written there are issues with running it straight though. I dislike a lot of Ravenloft modules' tendencies to mess with PC characters' offscreen or taking away their agency or their actual characters.

I found about half were fantastic gothic horror monster investigations and half crossed over into some player agency stuff I did not care for.
 

I ran the chest one as well and it went pretty great, with a paladin being possessed and coming to grips with his body having done evil which led to a lot of great roleplaying for the paladin PC who loved it as a plot line. I had set the necromancer thing up as the background intro solo adventure for a different PC (a roomate of mine at the time) as a setup for running the chest adventure later and we gamed through it, but then that PC died during Touch of Death or Howls in the Night (I forget 30 years later) and Ejrik switched to the paladin. When it all came out the reaction of the original player (now on his third PC in the campaign) was fantastic and really satisfying. "Oh! This is . . . That means . . ." then biting his lip and saying "I know nothing. I know nothing. Oh, man. Yeah, we should stop this guy." :)

I agree that as written there are issues with running it straight though. I dislike a lot of Ravenloft modules' tendencies to mess with PC characters' offscreen or taking away their agency or their actual characters.

I found about half were fantastic gothic horror monster investigations and half crossed over into some player agency stuff I did not care for.

I think the way you handled it is the best approach (and with minor adjustment its pretty easy to run most Ravenloft stuff that way). If I recall when I first started running Ravenloft (around the time Feast of Goblyns came out), I ran things pretty rigidly as written because I was a new GM, but started to loosen things up as I learned more (especially as I started incorporating more Van Richten Guide advice into my campaigns).

Part of the issue with this one for me was the approach I have taken has sort of boxed myself into running it as written, so I think GMs who take the approach you did will get a lot more out of it. Reading it again for this session I could immediately see all the areas I would have expanded and reworked to fit my campaign. For a ten page adventure that isn't too bad in terms of work.

Old Ravenloft could be all over the map. I think the highs were very high, but the lows were....weird (I think weird captures it more than bad). Sometimes that weirdness is interesting (especially going back and experiencing it again after years away).

I'd really love to run some more of these modules again though as I am enjoying myself a lot. Would be cool if I can find the time to do Castles Forlorn again (I have not run that since it came out). Something like Night of the Walking Dead would be fun too.
 

I got to the next adventure and decided not to run it, but run something original that was tied to the party background instead (we have been using small periods of down time so the players can connect with people via letters and other messages: one player is forming a church, the other forming a thieves network). The next adventure would have been Corrupted Innocence, which introduces the Ermordenung, which are monsters from Boritsi who have a deadly touch. I wasn't especially comfortable with this scenario, because the antagonist is so young (and for that kind of monster it just feels a little off). So instead I took the kernel of the idea, a child antagonist, and had them contend with a flesh golem creation of the man who they came to Ravenloft with.

In their backstory, they came to Ravenloft because they were helping a man named Aristanos, from the Fellowship of Promestus excavate ruins in a land far to the north. Aristanos was using them to resurrect a Sertori (sort of like Divine Sorcerers) named Luna Haunch. The attempted resurrection of her is what drew everyone into the mists, but they all came at different times. The players were initially ahead of him (I have been playing with the mists and time a lot). First they went to Mordenheim's Mansion and had a confrontation before moving through Darkon and into the misty borders where they eventually ended up in Mondale. But Aristanos arrived in their wake, reaching Mordenheim just as he was reforming from his confrontation with the party. Aristanos had the body of Luna Haunch with him and became fascinated with Mordenheim's ideas (instead of confronting Mordenheim like the players he befriended him and learned some of his methods). He then travelled through Darkon seeking the party (which the players caught wind of through their thieves network) and made his way with some Vistani into the misty borders.

The players received a message asking for help. His name was Simon of Tarthal and he was an early disciple of the cleric player (who had planted the seeds of a church). But it was clear there was a time discrepancy as the players have only been in Ravenloft for months but Simon was building a church in their god's name for years. His people had been beset by evil creatures and they needed help.

What the players did not realize was this was a trap set up by Aristanos. His backstory here is a bit involved but the basic gist is he found a new home, and conducted experiments. One of them was his own child, Chavi, who had passed away (again the time discrepancy is important here). Aristanos had married one of the Vistani who guided him through the mists and together they had Chavi. He raised her by making her into a flesh golem and sending her to find the party. However, she was evil and carried with her a doll golem (one of Aristanos early experiments) whose bite turns people into Goblyns. She reached the land that Simon of Tarthal had built his church in and the domain welcomed her as its new lord. Very quickly she turned all the people into Goblyns and eventually all the members of the church (except Simon who managed to kill himself first). Simon had been penning a letter to warn the cleric player (they had been having correspondence) not to come to the church. However, Chavi wrote a replacement letter pleading for the players to come help.

So the adventure started much like Corrupted Innocence, with Chavi setting the players up by feigning an attack by an evil treat. The party rescued her, she convinced them that she was looking for a vistani encampment in the area and they took her with them to the church. While she waited outside, they investigated the church grounds, eventually stumbling upon Simon, with his original letter, only to find themselves surrounded by 10 Goblyns.

Here I had forgotten how powerful Goblyns are. The party is 7th level, and I rolled randomly to determine the number of Goblyns. But they fairly easily took the players down (two were disfigured by the Goblyn's feasting), and were sparred because Chavi's goal was simply to capture them and send the party to her father in his domain. When we ended the players had woken up inside a wagon as prisoners, presumably a Vistani Vardo.

I think at this point, because they were captured, which I wasn't expecting as an outcome, I am going to skip the rest of Book of Crypts and continue with their adventures in Aristanos' domain.
 

pemerton

Legend
@Bedrockgames

Your playing with time is interesting. That's the sort of thing that can be hard to pull off - because it's so easy, in the RPG medium, for it to just come across as someone being forgetful about their record-keeping.
 

@Bedrockgames

Your playing with time is interesting. That's the sort of thing that can be hard to pull off - because it's so easy, in the RPG medium, for it to just come across as someone being forgetful about their record-keeping.

Ravenloft is very dreamlike, so the basic idea is something I pulled from a concept I sometimes used in my more epic level wuxia campaigns (really getting into the realm of stuff like A Journey to the West more than wuxia), which is roughly a day in heaven in a hundred years on earth (which I used to degrees for different celestial realms to both create a sense of distance between them and our world, but also to allow for an interesting area of play where the players are functioning on a different time level than the people below them (so it kind of allows for this almost domain management approach to things). Here I've done something similar though it is very much more eyeballed as this is a highly casual campaign meant to just give them a taste of how I used to run Ravenloft and what Ravenloft was like in the 90s (so I am using heavier handed techniques than currently tend to). Basically years are elapsing for other characters that the players are interacting with as they spend time in the misty borders and in domains in the misty borders. So the player found a disciple in Darkon as he passed through and by the next month or so was in Moondale sending a message and receiving a message where it was clear the disciple had been spending time, possibly years, building up a religious community. Over the next few adventures he received more messages, and messages from new individuals, where it became clear this was spreading and building over many years. But the other player was also receiving word about their enemy who was enjoying a similar time advantage against the players.

I should say, I don't normally do this time thing when I run Ravenloft, but I wanted a way to cater to the players desire to build religious communities and build a thieves network (these were tasks they started doing on their own). Because it was only going to be like an 8 adventure campaign, approaching time in this way allowed for them to get actual results from their efforts and for a nice series of things to unfold.

This would be pretty hard for them to mistake as me forgetting about time, because they would receive letters, only a day after sending one out, that indicated massive elapses in time for the person they were communicating with.
 


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