The Spider Queen

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The big villain in the campaign I'm currently planning is Lolth. Has anyone ever used her in a story before? Any advice about it?
As with any villain, make sure you have a clear understanding of what her goal is/goals are. Actually, if you post your answer to this I think you will find a lot more feedback forthcoming.

Lolth wants the drow to worship her alone. She also wants revenge on Corellon and to destroy or, better yet, corrupt as many elves as possible.

I can also see her wanting to expand her influence in the Feywild. IMC, she wants to take over as the Queen of Air & Darkness (which means she might be allied with the Prince of Frost).

At the same time, I think she is vulnerable to the machinations of Graz'zt especially among male drow.

I'll post some more ideas if you post what you think her goals are in your campaign.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
lol...Trying to think how to answer that in a way that's relevant to the details I'm trying to fill in, without making an infodump of all my campaign preparation, most of which is not going to survive contact with the players anyway.

Okay, the party wants to kill Lolth. That's the premise of the campaign as far as they are concerned; it's a goal the players have wanted to pursue for a while.  One of the things they'll need to do is find a way to make her killable; e.g., not discorporate at 1/4 hitpoints like gods tend to do. In this case, what they need is a particular artifact, an enchanted dagger that will make Lolth vulnerable if she's stabbed with it. 

Meanwhile, Lolth is trying to become the new Goddess of Magic. (Which is an idea that I'm stealing from Rise of the Underdark, if I understand correctly. Someone else in my group read about it and mentioned it, and I realized it would work well with this campaign.) She's had the Drow gathering magical artifacts to aid in this, but to actually accomplish her goal, she needs an object that's extremely powerful and specially connected to her, which turns out to be that same dagger. So, they want to bring the dagger to her, which is also exactly what she wants, minus the bit about being stabbed with it. Eventually this leads to an epic encounter between her and them, which is what everyone wants.

The details I'm still fuzzy on (other than those being left intentionally fuzzy pending player decisions) relate to how Lolth behaves before that final confrontation. I know she's supposed to be sneaky and manipulative, and if she finds out that a party of adventurers have the thing she wants and are trying  to bring it to her, she'll probably do something more subtle than send a horde of demons after them. I just haven't worked out what yet. I'm also still trying to get a feel for her personality.

On a possibly unrelated note, I've heard the title "Queen of Air and Darkness" before, but it was not in a D&D context. Is it Feywild related? 
On a possibly unrelated note, I've heard the title "Queen of Air and Darkness" before, but it was not in a D&D context. Is it Feywild related? 


Maybe read it in the Dresden files? It's the title of Mab, the Queen of the Winter Fey.
The place I've seen it was in a series of books based on Arthurian legends. So, the origin of the phrase probably goes back a ways if it's used in several locations.
Then go read the Dresden Files if you like modern-day fantasy, detective stories and action-packed novels. They're awesome 
Yeah, someone in my D&D group recommends them as well.
I know she's supposed to be sneaky and manipulative, and if she finds out that a party of adventurers have the thing she wants and are trying  to bring it to her, she'll probably do something more subtle than send a horde of demons after them. I just haven't worked out what yet. I'm also still trying to get a feel for her personality.



If it were me, I'd probably have Lolth's plan (which may change according to PC action) go something like this:

The PCs have a chance to heroically rescue a female drow slave while searching the Underdark for this artifact.  The slave of course is Lolth in drow form.  She becomes essential to the PCs as she becomes their de facto Underdark guide, helping them figure out where they need to go to find said artifact.  Once they successfully find the artifact, Lolth steals it, which is the last artifact she requires to complete her ritual.  This sets up the final mad dash for the PCs to stop Lolth before her plans come to fruition.
That's an interesting angle to consider. It would probably be an Aspect of Lolth rather than Lolth herself, as gods are very reluctant to leave their domains, and because her Aspects are known (or more commonly not known) for taking on diguised forms and infiltrating places.


Okay, the party wants to kill Lolth. That's the premise of the campaign as far as they are concerned; it's a goal the players have wanted to pursue for a while.  One of the things they'll need to do is find a way to make her killable; e.g., not discorporate at 1/4 hitpoints like gods tend to do. In this case, what they need is a particular artifact, an enchanted dagger that will make Lolth vulnerable if she's stabbed with it. 

 



If it's helpful, I'm also running a campaign in which Lolth is the final villain. I had the group go back in time (using a time-traveling chariot of fire they stole from Pelor). They had to steal a magical pendant that was given to Lolth by Corellon that contained a small portion of the essence of Arvandor. When Lolth was later corrupted, she destroyed the pendant as it now hurt her and reminded her of what she once was before becoming the demon queen of spiders. Corellon believes it can be used to destroy her if the group can recover it before its destruction. Of course, in the past Corellon is still allies with Lolth and will not stand idly by if the party moves against her.
Lol...I like that setup. In my campaign, they'll most likely be making a trip to the Astral Sea to seek a divine patron for the quest. (Advice to do this will come from an NPC, but the idea originated with one of the players when we were talking about the prospect of god slaying.) They'll specifically be advised to avoid approaching Corellon, on the grounds that he is in direct conflict with Lolth, and becoming involved with him is likely to make her notice you. I'm drawing this concept and a few others from the War of the Spider Queen series.
The Queen of Air & Darkness is a Feywild title that also appears in the Dresden books (or close enough to it anyway).

Its first appearance in D&D lore, as far as I know, was in 2E's Monstrous Mythology. In 4E FR, Auril is specifically noted as being the Queen of Air & Darkness according to the DDi article, Halls of the Frostmaiden, from 2008 or early 2009.

Also, for more Lolth-related ideas have a look at the Epic adventures at livingforgottenrealms.com. They're rather good adventures and the background information and adventure synopses are great for inspiring your own campaigns. (And, unlike the crap WotC produced for Epic 4E adventures, these actually feel Epic.)
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Thanks; I'll check that out.
There's a 3-part campaign that starts in Arvandor, visits Carceri, then ends in the Demonweb. these are all locations relevant to what I'm doing, so I strongly suspect the files I just downloaded will have useful material.
There's a 3-part campaign that starts in Arvandor, visits Carceri, then ends in the Demonweb. these are all locations relevant to what I'm doing, so I strongly suspect the files I just downloaded will have useful material.



Yes, they're the ones I meant. They're rather good, aren't they?

There are some real gems in the LFR adventures. I read all of them just in case I find something useful.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom

 The title of the Queen of Air and Darkness goes all the way back to before Welsh Arthurian Legend in the 11th and 12th century, although it's original usage is probably nothing close to what most "modern" (i. e., anyone past Shakespeare) writers use it as...
As near as I can figure out, it enters into the Arthurian legends through Morgause (or alternately Morgan Le Fay) having possibly been a literary interpretation by the very earliest Arthurian writers of the Welsh goddess Modron... To most of the native peoples of the British Isles, there wasn't much distinction between their "gods" and the mystical races of legend.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Okay, that character was who carried the title in the books I read, which were a modern retelling of the Arthur legends mixed with the legend of Atlantis.
Try to corrupt one of the characters, so she betrays the party at the crucial moment.  Ideally you will corrupt a female character, but an elf would also make for a nice choice.  In the end, whichever player is likely to be most open to the idea, is likely to be the one.

Don't start with betraying the party, but rather keep offering players the opportunity to except evil magic and help from evil powers to gain the ability to defeat Loth.  Hopefully at least one player will embrace help from evil powers, and you can slowly RP a shift towards evil outside of your normal gaming time.  Once you have an evil character with evil gear and help from evil powers, you know who to talk to when the final battle approaches.  Since the fight with Loth is going to be the end of the campaign, this is the one time when betraying the party does not hurt the gaming group in the long run. 
Yeah, not going to go that direction. It's an interesting idea and I understand the appeal, but something like that happened in the last campaign I ran. Repeating it would look too much like establishing an unfortunate pattern.