Savage Tide and the Demon King!

the Jester

Legend
That works for conventional villains, like Villain A took over a town. Not Tiamat manifesting into the world, or Demogorgan pulling the world into the Abyss and making it his 3rd layer.
Sure it does. The new party, at low levels, fights the desperate fight against cultists and minor demons, struggles to help survivors find relative safety, and begins plotting out who or what might make allies and what they might want in exchange for that alliance. At mid levels, the party makes strategic forays against Demogorgon's lackeys to undermine the big D's authority, to promote insurrection, or to create distractions. Eventually, at high levels, they forge an alliance with devils/Orcus/celestials and works to create a big battle during which they can try to reverse the worst of the effects D has created.

Alternatively, maybe they are from another world entirely and are a group trying to rescue the lost world.

Alternatively again, maybe they try to use time travel shenanigans to try to prevent D from having won in the first place. Etc, etc.

Just because you can't think of a way for the pcs to overcome the challenge doesn't mean that they can't. Personally, I think that all adventures would be improved if they have, at the least, a sidebar about "what if the good guys lose?" (as well as "what if the pcs join the bad guys?"- I know Savage Tide addressed this at several points!).

Sure it may take years to wipe all life off the planet, but these events will be a desperate fight into futility. This is the problem with high level campaigns. If the heroes die, there is no one strong enough to correct their failure, and the consequences are irreversible.
That's one take on it. But there's no reason that has to be the only take on it.

Take the new Baldur's Gate campaign for example. What hangs in the balance for the players, is the fate of 1 city. They can continue on and determine the fate of Avernus also, but for that to happen, they will have to adventure past where the game actually wants you to end.
The game doesn't actually want anything. It may not spell out what happens after the end of the written adventure, but there is typically no reason whatsoever that it can't continue, even after a win by the bad guys.
 

dave2008

Hero
At this point, a besieged world’s only hope for survival is the expulsion of the demon lord. The lord’s defeat leaves the other demons again leaderless, and they react by warring against each other, which makes them susceptible to attacks from the world’s defenders. The longer a demon lord remains in control of all the other fiends, the more the world around it becomes irrevocably changed. When a demonic incursion runs its course, no vestige remains of the world that existed before — in effect, the realm has become another layer of the Abyss.
Ok, I remember reading that now. My understanding of the bold part is not that it is actually pulled into the Abyss, but the demon lords influence has made it an extension of the Abyss. Also, this happens over time - after the Demon Lords enters the world. So, Demogorgon could "win" in OotA and we could still have a higher level follow on adventure to send it back to the Abyss and save the world.

@neogod22 was implying the world would be pulled into the Abyss first, that is not the order of events listed here.
 

neogod22

Explorer
Ok, I remember reading that now. My understanding of the bold part is not that it is actually pulled into the Abyss, but the demon lords influence has made it an extension of the Abyss. Also, this happens over time - after the Demon Lords enters the world. So, Demogorgon could "win" in OotA and we could still have a higher level follow on adventure to send it back to the Abyss and save the world.

@neogod22 was implying the world would be pulled into the Abyss first, that is not the order of events listed here.
I wasn't implying I was saying. It literally says it becomes another layer. That means it gets pulled into the Abyss. A perfect example of this happening is the entire plot of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. The city of Elturel is literally pulled out of the Prime Material Plane into the 1st layer of Hell. There's a giant crater where the city used to be, and when you go into Hell, you see the city being pulled down by chains. The characters need to find a way to break the chains to free the city because, once the city touches the ground, it'll be part of Avernus forever.
 

Urriak Uruk

Explorer
  1. Why don't big world shaking adventures ever really cover what happens if the PCs fail? I realize some adventures briefly cover the subject in a paragraph or two, but do any go into a deep dive into what happens if: the Savage Tide is released, Tiamat manifest in Faerun, or the Demon Lords escape the Abyss, etc. & etc.?
I read Tyranny of Dragons, it actually does go into some detail about what happens if the PCs fail.

A victory for the Cult of the Dragon is a real possibility in this adventure, and would be catastrophic for Faerun. With Tiamat ascendant, the age of mortals comes to an end and the age of dragons begins. Nations and kingdoms shatter, civilization collapses into bloody war, and chaos reigns supreme. None of the Dragon Queen’s mortal agents receive the rewards they expected. The Red Wizards who freed her are devoured or driven away, hunted by the forces of Szass Tam. The cultists who orchestrated Tiamat’s return fare little better, with the Dragon Queen not caring which mortals her draconic subjects hunt, consume, and enslave. The glorious reign of dragons that Severin hoped to usher in and rule becomes a brutal world where evil dragons dominate all. Such dark times need not mean the end of your campaign, however. The characters have lost a crucial battle, but they might survive to continue the war. Their new goal is to find a way to banish or destroy Tiamat for good, bringing peace to the world once more.

It kind of summarizes the whole problem with the "big bad evil guy achieving the world-ending goal." It really means that you got to start a whole, completely new in tone campaign.
 

dave2008

Hero
I wasn't implying I was saying. It literally says it becomes another layer. That means it gets pulled into the Abyss. A perfect example of this happening is the entire plot of Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. The city of Elturel is literally pulled out of the Prime Material Plane into the 1st layer of Hell. There's a giant crater where the city used to be, and when you go into Hell, you see the city being pulled down by chains. The characters need to find a way to break the chains to free the city because, once the city touches the ground, it'll be part of Avernus forever.
The text from MToF reads: "... in effect, the realm has become another layer of the Abyss." That means it is not literally part of the Abyss or it wouldn't say "in effect."

Also, this is a long time after the Demon Lord enters the world. You said: "...by the time a Demonlord steps foot on the Prime, that world is about to become sucked into they Abyss and create a new Plane." That is not the sequence of events described in MToF. I agree that would you said is similar, but the difference have a big effect on the discussion at hand (whether or not PCs can do anything after being defeated.) By the MToF it is very possible to have an entire campaign after the Demon Lord enters the prime. By your example, much more difficult.

Listen, we are basically in agreement, the only difference is the timeline and whether the world becomes a literal part of the Abyss. The timeline is significant, the other not as much, IMO, for this discussion.
 

dave2008

Hero
I read Tyranny of Dragons, it actually does go into some detail about what happens if the PCs fail.

A victory for the Cult of the Dragon is a real possibility in this adventure, and would be catastrophic for Faerun. With Tiamat ascendant, the age of mortals comes to an end and the age of dragons begins. Nations and kingdoms shatter, civilization collapses into bloody war, and chaos reigns supreme. None of the Dragon Queen’s mortal agents receive the rewards they expected. The Red Wizards who freed her are devoured or driven away, hunted by the forces of Szass Tam. The cultists who orchestrated Tiamat’s return fare little better, with the Dragon Queen not caring which mortals her draconic subjects hunt, consume, and enslave. The glorious reign of dragons that Severin hoped to usher in and rule becomes a brutal world where evil dragons dominate all. Such dark times need not mean the end of your campaign, however. The characters have lost a crucial battle, but they might survive to continue the war. Their new goal is to find a way to banish or destroy Tiamat for good, bringing peace to the world once more.

It kind of summarizes the whole problem with the "big bad evil guy achieving the world-ending goal." It really means that you got to start a whole, completely new in tone campaign.
Thanks for the recap. That is decent explanation, probably unrealistic to expect more. I guess it would be great if they gave more details on how to contine (some real hooks or possibilities) or a follow-on adventure to cover that possibility.

However, is anyone else interested in Demon KIng stats?! Everyone focuses on question #1, what about question #2!
 

dave2008

Hero
The city of Elturel is literally pulled out of the Prime Material Plane into the 1st layer of Hell. There's a giant crater where the city used to be, and when you go into Hell, you see the city being pulled down by chains. The characters need to find a way to break the chains to free the city because, once the city touches the ground, it'll be part of Avernus forever.
Yes, and that is very different from what is happening in OotA or MToF, and they are not mutually exclusive either. Really talking about different things.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Thanks for the recap. That is decent explanation, probably unrealistic to expect more. I guess it would be great if they gave more details on how to contine (some real hooks or possibilities) or a follow-on adventure to cover that possibility.

However, is anyone else interested in Demon KIng stats?! Everyone focuses on question #1, what about question #2!
I mean as is back then Demogorgon was CR 33 if the PCs fought him straight up. There were things you could do to lower him for the fight down to 23, but if not then 33.

I’m not sure how much more epic a creature he could become than CR 33?!? Maybe Sepulcrave has stats for a boosted Demo that would work in his Eladric Et Al Rogues gallery thread. Already.

Though if he does it’s probably CR 60+!!

I’ll look.

EDIT: Can't find a post by Sep for Demogorgon himself. His Grazzt post was something like CR 32, so right around where the Savage Tide Demogorgon is already.

There is a post for Carasch, a cthonic Balor who is lesser than Demogorgon in his cosmology. And here he notes that Demogorgon would be a Divine Rank 16+ entity, so maybe that's why he didn't stat him out :)

EDIT EDIT: I also noted that in the Out of the Abyss ending there is this little tidbit. I know it's not what all you're looking for, but they are addressing the concept in some of the WSE type adventures.

Demon Lords Triumphant
In the event the heroes were not successful, a potential new campaign could take place in a Faerûn threatened — or even ruled — by demon lords with access to the surface world. In addition to their summoned armies of demons and fiendish creatures, they gather worldly forces of chaos and evil to their banners to launch a war against all civilized lands. A world under the assault or rule of the demon lords is a world in need of heroes.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Hero
I mean as is back then Demogorgon was CR 33 if the PCs fought him straight up. There were things you could do to lower him for the fight down to 23, but if not then 33.

I’m not sure how much more epic a creature he could become than CR 33?!?
Well, my 5e version of the Prince of Demons is CR35, so I am thinking the King of Demons is CR40+
 

Advertisement

Top