Dungeon 181 - The Vault of Darom Madar

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Dungeon 181
The Vault of Darom Madar
A Dark Sun Adventure for 1st-level Characters
By Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel

"The Vault of Darom Madar" challenges adventurers to locate an ancient treasure lost somewhere in the vast desert. The characters, however, are not the only group seeking to uncover the long-lost fortune, so the heroes must not only find the treasure but return safely with it to the gates of Tyr. "The Vault of Darom Madar" is an adventure for 1st-level characters which provides enough experience to take them to 2nd or 3rd level by the adventure’s conclusion. It also serves as a bridge between the short adventure "Sand Raiders" in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting and the separate adventure "Marauders of the Dune Sea."

Discuss the adventure here:

181_vault.jpg

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I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but I have to say that I absolutely love the artwork, especially the piece that I linked to above.

Tim Eagon My DDI Articles.

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I have just finished reading it and all I can say is "More Please!"
Important errata to incorporate in the final magazine release: It's not the Canyon of Gothay, but Guthay. All 26 mentions of the geographical feature are misspelled.

The canyon is named after one of the setting's two moons, Ral and Guthay.
Important errata to incorporate in the final magazine release: It's not the Canyon of Gothay, but Guthay. All 26 mentions of the geographical feature are misspelled.

The canyon is named after one of the setting's two moons, Ral and Guthay.



Heh, right you are.

In my defense, the adventure was written well before the current Dark Sun maps were finished. I was using one of the cloth maps that came with one of the old 2E sets (I can't remember which) for reference, and I swear, on that map, the "U" looks like an "O". =]

Aeryn
Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel Editor-in-Chief, No Quarter magazine Privateer Press
Aeryn, glad to know the source of the mistake was so simple. The adventure, btw, is the best one yet published for 4th Edition, good work.
Will you follow up with Wizards to correct the spelling? You would be the best bet for this. I'll repost this in the errata thread (I mixed this forum with the subforum).
Aeryn, glad to know the source of the mistake was so simple. The adventure, btw, is the best one yet published for 4th Edition, good work.
Will you follow up with Wizards to correct the spelling? You would be the best bet for this. I'll repost this in the errata thread (I mixed this forum with the subforum).



Yup, stupid mistakes like the one I made here often have ludicrously simple explanations. I'm glad my Canyon of Gothay didn't keep you from enjoying the adventure, though. =]

Yeah, I'll pass on the mistake to the powers that be. It's a simple fix, so I imagine it'll get done soon.

Aeryn
Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel Editor-in-Chief, No Quarter magazine Privateer Press
Do you have other Dark Sun projects, Aeryn? A blog to showcase that DMing talent, perhaps? Other articles? 
Fantastic Aeryn! Please do more

Can anyone tell me which/how many tile sets are used in this adventure??

I'm brand spanking new and can't identify all the sets used.

I see Caves of Carnage and Deserts of Athas but what about the others?
I actually enjoyed this.  

I've felt unsatisfied with 4E as a whole, mainly due to the dull hack'n'slash nature of the adventures so far.  I'm sick to death of the combat-only scenarios in Dungeon since 4E started. Back in earlier editions, Dungeon had mysteries, city adventures, wilderness treks, role-playing stories, stealth missions and the like, as well as dungeeon bashes. 4E doesn't seem to know how to cope with anything that's not constant combat with the occasional 'skill challenge' (a combat by any other name) thrown in.

I fully expected 4E Dark Sun to be a complete travesty, but I'm happy with what I've seen of it thus far. And this adventure is nice; it actually captures the 'feel' of Athas, which I didn't expect. There's more than just continual fighting, and some actual consequences if the PCs screw up.

Is it possible we might actually have more scenarios like this?    

That's our goal.

Steve

If your only tool is a warhammer, every problem looks like a gnoll.

If that's your goal, then thank you Steve.

I've been playing D&D since Dungeon issue 1 with the red dragon on the front. And I've had mixed feelings about 4E so far. Thus far, this edition seems incapable of offering adventures that contain non-combat elements - no storylines, no player choices, no moral decisions. 

If you're aiming to provide a more rounded experience, I welcome that.      
I actually enjoyed this.  

I've felt unsatisfied with 4E as a whole, mainly due to the dull hack'n'slash nature of the adventures so far.  I'm sick to death of the combat-only scenarios in Dungeon since 4E started. Back in earlier editions, Dungeon had mysteries, city adventures, wilderness treks, role-playing stories, stealth missions and the like, as well as dungeeon bashes. 4E doesn't seem to know how to cope with anything that's not constant combat with the occasional 'skill challenge' (a combat by any other name) thrown in.

I fully expected 4E Dark Sun to be a complete travesty, but I'm happy with what I've seen of it thus far. And this adventure is nice; it actually captures the 'feel' of Athas, which I didn't expect. There's more than just continual fighting, and some actual consequences if the PCs screw up.

Is it possible we might actually have more scenarios like this?    



Maelora,

I'm very pleased to read that the Dark Sun "feel" came through for you in this adventure; that was definitely one of my primary goals when I wrote it.


If you liked the mix of combat and skill challenges in this adventure, you might also dig a short adventure I wrote recently called Dead by Dawn.

Aeryn

Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel Editor-in-Chief, No Quarter magazine Privateer Press
Thanks Aeryn, it's a great piece of work.  It actually captured the Dark Sun feel for me, and was very evocative. I commend your talent, sir. The artwork is outstanding too - maybe better than Brom, even!

I'll check out your other adventure too. 

I don't mind some combats, but I've been disappointed that almost all 4E adventures are entirely combats. 'Skill challenges' are only good up to a point - done badly they are just combats by another name.  

A good adventure needs player choices and moral decisions.  Earlier editions of D&D provided this.  Even computer games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect offer an immersive experience these days.  It's a shame that for the last two years, the granddaddy of all RPGs hasn't offered this. 

But thanks for your efforts - they are appreciated, and it's things like this that keep me checking back on 4E every so often.   
Ah, you wrote Dead by Dawn as well. Rock on! These are both two excellent adventures. I hope you will work on more!

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Can anyone tell me which/how many tile sets are used in this adventure??

I see Caves of Carnage and Deserts of Athas but what about the others?



Yup, Caves of Carnage, Deserts of Athas, and the one you're missing is Dire Tombs (used in the Vault of Darom Madar itself).

Do you have other Dark Sun projects, Aeryn? A blog to showcase that DMing talent, perhaps? Other articles? 



Absolutely.

I wrote the Dark Sun Game Day adventure, the Lost Cistern of Aravek (yes, the tembo in the cistern is my faultLaughing).

In addition, I've written the following Chaos Scar adventures:

Stick in the Mud
Tainted Spiral
Dead by Dawn
The Crawling Fane
The Wayward Wyrmling (forthcoming)

Aeryn
Aeryn "Blackdirge" Rudel Editor-in-Chief, No Quarter magazine Privateer Press
Can anyone tell me which/how many tile sets are used in this adventure??

I see Caves of Carnage and Deserts of Athas but what about the others?



Yup, Caves of Carnage, Deserts of Athas, and the one you're missing is Dire Tombs (used in the Vault of Darom Madar itself).

Do you have other Dark Sun projects, Aeryn? A blog to showcase that DMing talent, perhaps? Other articles? 



Absolutely.

I wrote the Dark Sun Game Day adventure, the Lost Cistern of Aravek (yes, the tembo in the cistern is my fault).

In addition, I've written the following Chaos Scar adventures:

Stick in the Mud
Tainted Spiral
Dead by Dawn
The Crawling Fane
The Wayward Wyrmling (forthcoming)

Aeryn



I have one question about the dungeon maps/ tiles.

i noticed that other adventures by black dirge such as stick in the mud and tainted spiral had unmarked maps available for download with dungeon. why doesn't the vault of Darom Mador?

It just seems odd as some people prefer printing maps (which is why they subscribe ) as oppossed to tiles. especially if those tiles are hard to come by in more regional areas as they come many weeks after the books.


In addition, i love the adventure. i think it is great way to get players into athas.
Thanks for the lack of reply, i am going to have to wait weeks to get the tiles for the adventure ordered in.

Thanks for being inconsistient
i need a little help...
in map of tyr region, where is (approximately) the canyon of guthay? The only reference is border of aluvial sandwaste...

thx

Professor E, I'm not sure why there are no unmarked maps, but I'll see what I can find out.

Ellendill, the canyon hasn't been 'officially' located in 4E Dark Sun, but in the 2nd Ed. version, it cuts the road from Silver Spring to Tyr right where that road crosses into the Great Alluvial Sand Waste.

Steve

If your only tool is a warhammer, every problem looks like a gnoll.

thx...
It's a bit of a necro, but I'm running this for my Dark Sun group now.  It's a great adventure, as everyone else has said!

However, does anyone else think that Darom Madar has too many hp?  The standard oath wight (a lvl 14 elite controller) has a similar number of hp as other elite controllers with some special hp-related mechanic (regen, insubstantial), probably because of his Promised Return power.  The de-leveled solo-ed version of the oath wight in the adventure has as many hp as the other solos of his level, not the insubstantial solos.  I'm planning on reducing his hp to 140.

Thanks,
Paul
More thread necromancy (but then we are dealing with undead).

Just finished running this for my group and I think the hit points seemed okay in play. Remember he doesn't have regen or insubstantial, just a one off healing power. Dropping his hit point to 140 I could see him falling really. Shouldn't his saving throw bonus be +5 as a solo as well?

One thing I noticed however was a MAJOR error in his tactics.

Darom Madar opens combat by moving forward and blasting the party with frustration’s fury. He tries tocatch as many heroes in the blast as possible. He then spends one of his action points to follow with rotting touch on an adjacent character and allows the damageto trigger oath’s agony on the same target.

While oath's agony is triggered he cannot use it because it is an immediate reaction and you cannot use reactions in your own turn.

An Oath Wight as a Elite can obviously use oath's agony on a lot of occasions (when the allies he fights with hit), but as a solo the only time he gets to use it is after he is bloodied and successfully uses his Accursed Gaze on a PC, and they attack and hit triggering oath's agony on their turn and not Darom Madar's. Problem with that is Accursed Gaze is ranged so if he want's to use it and stay adjacent to do oath's agony he opens himself up to opportunity attack a plenty.

It's a major down-grading in his power.

We agreed at the table that making it into a Solo then really oath's agony needed to be changed to (at-will free action 1/round), to give him the damage output suitable for a solo.
 
Another power that didn't work very well a solo but would as a elite was his rotting touch. Since he was the only character doing damage if he missed with his rotting touch or had to target another player or couldn't use the power for some reason, then you could quickly heal up then.

Also his I'll be back power (Promised Return) was a little weird, because with him being dead, do you drop out of rounds, and if you don't aren't the players left wondering why? As part of a group as long as he's not the last to drop you don't have the issue.

I think he needed a little work to be an effective solo, that or give him an honor guard of some other undead, as most of his powers aren't that good on his own. 

If you keep him as a solo then he needs the extra hit point to soak up all the opportunity attacks he will be pulling, if you add some sort of honor guard then, yes perhaps it would be right to drop his hit points a little.
Haven't downloaded this one yet, but it sounds excellent. Aeryn, thanks so much for the great adventures you have been putting out! I enjoyed Dead by Dawn immensely!
Another thing I've noticed is Dynera Madar, Weeping Wraith has a power called Woeful Shriek that is a triggered action, but it doesn't have a trigger. I'm guessing it's when she becomes bloodied?
So looking this over, and thinking of running it along a bit with Sand Raiders and the first half of Bloodsand Arena (to get the characters to Altaruk from Tyr) and going from there.  WHen the game gets goign there will be four players, so even if they're level two, it'll be about on par from my gathering if they're a level up from the suggested.

That said, going over, I'd kind of like to use the dungeon tile stuff for this, but wondering, base don things, how much of what looks good.  RIght now I'm guessing it uses three fo the Dark Sun sets, and at least one of the cave ones (I already have teh Essentials boxes, so I'm not really concerned on the tomb stuff myself).  Anyone use the tiels for that, and is it worth buying that many more?  Or would probably at that point a battlemat do me better yout hink?

And stuff.
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