Dungeon 194 - Temple of the Weeping Goddess (An adventure for level 0 characters)

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Dungeon 194
Temple of the Weeping Goddess

An adventure for level 0 characters
by Philippe-Antoine Menard

A group of untested adventurers must rescue a long-lost aspect of the goddess Avandra before it's too late.

Talk about this article here.

Untested 0 level PCs entering the Elemental Chaos and rescuing aspects of deities? Is it just me, or does this sounds as something way over the top for the inexperienced adventures? It is not even that the characters accidentally stumble into the adventure, but their caretaker sends them on purpose into the Elemental Chaos (even telling the PCs such) to rescue a godess? Sure, Avendra might be more impressed, but that is a rather weak argument IMO. Besides the odd idea of sending untried adventurers into one of the most dangerous planes in existence (nothing remains stable, the whole pocket could instantly change into fire and the invaders being mere goblins is just coincidence, it could just as well have been archons or efreet), it also creates a situation where a DM makes it harder for himself to top what happened in the first adventure...

Mind you, stories are filled with untried heroes rescuing worlds. It is just that such a type of story does not fit very well within the D&D mechanics unless the DM makes the necessary adaptations (eg leveling faster, or changing the levels of iconic opponents). While doing something different is good, I am just not sure a level 0 adventure is the place to do so. It is different already.

IMO this is a great adventure.  I even appreciate that it pays homage to the original 0 level module.  What adventure isn’t over the top – it’s what heroes are born for.  In this case the caretaker has been watching for characters just like these to meet his needs and their success at escaping the seasoned adventurers at the Drowned Fish allows him to set his plan in motion.

It is not about impressing the goddess, but rescuing a small part trapped in the Elemental Chaos (EC).  For this the plan calls for inexperience characters to reach out to her benevolent side breaking through her anger as was done in the original adventure.  In that adventure the novice characters managed to stay her hand for a short while in order to escape the island before she took vengeance on the orcs that defiled her temple.

The jaunt to the EC is short; the caretaker’s portal can only be maintained for 24 hours.  The earthmote is stable (page 7 sidebar) and is no danger of erupting into fire or anything else.  While they are in the EC the earthmote is subject to “Cold winds and rain whip around you, and flashes of lightning and peals of thunder” but this is for atmosphere and not a true danger to the characters.  This could be just another form of the storm the goddess used to destroy the original island or an attack by the EC or powers dwelling there.

  • In Area 3 there is a dark area among the trees of the lower left not seen in the upper level, which was a well in the original adventure.  I have placed it back to allow the characters a glimpse of the true horrors and power of the EC.

The marooned goblins are more than just a coincidence; it is a warning of the dangers of elemental rifts, which can be found out from the goblin captain when he explains they were suck into an elemental vortex in the natural world. 

These goblins may also foreshadow some other event such as a raid on Neverwinter or another port city.  In this case the raiders may be a part of the Sithisila Fleet - a buccaneering goblin society, which besides preying on the weak have been known to hire out as mercenary naval support that has a secret base in the Moonshea Isles where the Korinn Archipelago and the original island are located.

Due to the estranged aspect being open to the influence of the EC; I’m having her come back as a new goddess.  In my home campaign I’m using this to bring Umberlee (as an aspect of Solkara) into the PoL styled campaign as the sea goddess and demote Melora to strictly “land” wilderness although I may replace her totally with Mielikki.  This will allow me to put more emphasis on the power of the Primal Spirits of the wilderness.  (I never cared for Melora’s twin roles). 

And yes, a rejuvenated Denek will become a CE Epic-leveled Waveservant.  It is my belief that his failure to sense the intensity of the goddess kept him from reaching epic power and the ability to open a planar portal from a [ritual] book is reached at level 18 placing him at the top of the paragon tier.

I fail to understand how the story does not fit into the D&D Mechanics this is a 0-level and the mechanics are simple to use.  I never try to top my adventures; each is a unique situation created to challenge my players.  Some times I feels as I fail, but more often the comments of the players prove me wrong. 

If they still talk about past adventures with that far away look in their eyes as they relive them I know they enjoyed it.

@moradir62: Thanks so much. Beyond the design constraints I had with the adventure, you have made a very accurate analysis of what I intended it to be.  And I absolutely love that you plan to hack elements of it to make it work in YOUR world.

A CE Denek? Brilliant!

You just made my day, thank you kindly.

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