Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Once again, moving a comment up:
I have not yet written anything today due to a few crossword and word puzzles I scrounged up earlier. So, I will quickly detail the actual "projects" on which I am "working."

In a minute, apparently, as I have just been called back out of the breakroom.

Well, I ended up being out of the breakroom until it was time to leave, so here I am at home. The best part about the following post, in my mind, is the amount of parenthetical comments. Commas and parentheses are two of my favorite and most often used punctuation marks.

These are the two projects, listed in order of current attention:

1. An Iron Heroes one-shot adventure or, more likely, short campaign set in Asgard and inspired by Frostburn, Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations, and the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. The PCs are fallen viking warriors who have earned their places in Valhalla (each player will detail the final battle and heroic deeds that earned his character such an honor). An unknown evil sets in motion a plan to bring about Ragnarok. For some convoluted reason I have not yet divined, Odin sends the PCs to investigate and stop the plan. Besides awesome high-level Iron Heroes action (the minimum PC level I am entertaining is 10th, with 15th being a possibility) against such foes as frost giants, white dragons, ice ropers, [plural for remorhaz], and other foes (I plan for the final part to take place in Nifflheim; if it is a short campaign, I want to start elsewhere against non-ice enemies first), the setting itself will stand as an obstacle in their way (I both created my own frostfell terrain and am utilizing some of the hazards presented in Frostburn; I even created hazards that already existed in Frostburn with respect to flavor but with vastly different mechanics (since I was thinking of Iron Heroes and they were thinking of D&D heroes)).

While I do not have the villain's plan all figured out yet (I started with a cool idea and am trying to find a way to get the game there), I am thinking about including a fight with Thor as one of the final challenges. As I detail the plot, I have to restructure the vision (for example, I originally wanted the villain to try and kill Thor but then I decided he was trying to jumpstart Ragnarok and that requires Thor to be alive to play his part in the final battle; the villain's plan relies on Ragnarok progressing exactly as detailed in the prophecies).

2. This project has much less detail than the first because all my attention has been focused on the first. It started much the same way, with a cool idea. I wanted to create an adventure that featured a yuan-ti temple. Not a temple filled with yuan-ti but a temple built and used by yuan-ti. That would mean it was constructed to accommodate their serpentine physiques, with features such as ramps and poles and small circular doors meant for crawling/slithering. This all occurred to me prior to reading the yuan-ti entry in the Monster Manual that mentions just such achitectural features. As with the hazards in Frostburn, I find that I have a lot of ideas in common with others but developed independently (just because the snake features are logical extensions of the yuan-ti physical description does not rob me of the accomplishment of matching the brains of actual game designers).

The big villains of the yuan-ti temple would be the high priest (a half-dragon (black) yuan-ti abomination cleric I created as a villain when the 3.0 MM first came out; he wields a large greatsword and wears a headdress made from the skulls and spines of sacrificial victims) and, perhaps, a toned-down version of the anathema from the Fiend Folio (the anathema is like a giant yuan-ti abomination crossed with a hydra and given super psionic powers).

Again, this is just a cool idea that requires me to craft a story to get the adventure there. Obviously the yuan-ti are going to be doing something evil and rouse the ire and suspicion of the PCs. They investigate the temple deep in the jungle, they kill the high priest, and they put an end to the kidnappings and sacrifices.

I suppose a common thread amongst my adventure ideas is that I do not really put a common thread into my adventures. I do not design adventures around a continous story that weaves throughout the campaign. Instead, I get a cool idea and contrive a story to get the PCs there. I structure my ideas as one-shots so there is no need to put anything before or after the cool idea. The point of the adventure is to trudge through the strange and dangerous locales of Nifflheim or to battle into the heart of a yuan-ti temple to slay the half-dragon high priest before he completes his dark ritual rather than advancing some overarching campaign plot. I guess I read too many stand-alone modules.

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