Lizardfolk Adventure: Ideas Welcomed

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Hey everyone.

The party is planning on visiting a heavily forested island in the near future (a few weeks from now). I have roughly planned an adventure on the island but it could use some flushing out with encounter, location, and treasure ideas. The main race inhabiting the island are the Lizardfolk and the terrian is more like a dense European forest than a jungle. This adventure will allow a lot of breathing room for exploration and I would like that to be the primary focus.

Any and all ideas, generic or specific, are welcome. If you have any questions post them.

Thanks for your time and ideas!

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

How connected is the island, it's (lizard) people, and/or their gov't to the outside world? Are they allied with a side in one of the campaign's bigger conflicts, secretly or openly? Do they have any information about said conflict, accurate or otherwise?

Does the party have anything, or could they get anything before they go to the island, that the community would pay a surprisingly good amount for but that the party thinks is relatively worthless? Possibly a Wand of Detect Secret Doors that most people would pay 750 gp for, but the lizardfolk have so many ruins on the island that they would pay several thousand, either up front for the wand or as a reward for a quest where the party would have to use it?

And maybe could they sell it to one person for a negotiated price that they think is decent (800-900?), with the other person letting them name a price first, and then they find out from somebody else that they could've gotten a lot more if they had talked to anybody else first who knew how much the community wanted the thing, AND now they don't have it for any quests they might've been sent on with it, instead the person who "stole it" from them would get all of the opportunities for reward and credit?

And depending on how honorable the party is, that could also set up an amusing hunt-down-the-"thief" sub-plot that would get them kicked off the island for their antics Tongue Out

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

Now you said main race in the island. What other races are you thinking of living there as well?

You could have Bullywugs and Lizardmen be fighting and the PC have to pick a side in order to survive on the island.

Or you could go all Island of Dr Moreau. The Lizardmen were once actually just regular men, and an evil wizard mutated them into Lizardmen for his own amusement.
Time to answer a few questions.

The island is actually smack dab in the middle of an archipelago in which the campaign's lower tier is based. However, it is one of the few islands that everyone except for either the bravest or the most follish avoid due to its inhospitable terrain and savage wildlife. The archipelago is a colony of a crumbling empire that is trying, and failing, at regaining power. The lizardfolk tribes are hostile and have no positive relations with others, although a few individuals might. There are many Lizardfolk ruins around the island and there is a large cavern that used to connect with the Underdark.

I like the object and mercantile quests, so i will put those in the bag for later because i am looking for more savage ideas. Thanks for those ideas though.

As for the races...I haven't fully decided. Generally, Myconids, crauds, a few foulspawn or slaads, girallons, and other beasts appeal to me. Bullywugs would work very well here. Can you think of any standalone encounters/mini-adventures that could incorporate them?

Keep those posts coming.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

I might be interesting if the bullywugs and lizardmen are involved in a land war. The real reason for this fight, are mycenoids that have had a population explosion. In this possible story, the players end up exterminating the mycenoids, and forging peace with the lizardfolk.

A region of the island could be geologically active, casuing a number of hotspings, gysers, and mud-pots. This region has become hotly contested territory, because amphibans and reptiles are cold blooded, this natural hotspot is valuable to both of them.

Originally the bullywugs populated it, but some time ago, the more numerous and powerful lizardfolk moved in and took it. The bullywugs now use geurilla tactics against the lizardfolk, as they try to reclaim thier territory. The displacement of the bullywugs has forced them to move to nearby rivers or lakes, and thier presence is disrupting other terrain and wildlife.

If the lizardfolk have ruins,  and used to be a more prosperous civilization, then you should make them reasonable people in some way. Perhaps in comparison, the bullywugs are less intelligent, and more feral. After a fight with the bullywugs, the party comes across the lizardfolk. At first a fight ensues, and then halfway through a lizardfolk shows up (perhaps a shaman, or elder) and stops the fight. Appologies will go around, and he will offer them shelter, which the party is encouraged to accept, rather than facing night in the hostile jungle. The shaman NPC can then be used to give them information about the island.

The party learns that the lizardfolk normally used underground caves, warmed by the geological activity, for raising thier houng and sheltering in winter. But several years ago mycanoids started coming out of the lower tunnels, and the lizardfolk are not well equiped against them. Cue dusk attack from the bullywugs. The party helps defeat them, and gains respect from the other lizardfolk.

The party goes and fights back the mycenoids, and finds in a nearby cavern, the festering corpse of some gargantuan cave beast, which has been serving as food for the mycenoids (who presumably had already infected it wehn it died). While in the caves, they discover some valuable resource, long used by the lizardfolk.

The thankful lizardfolk can now move back into thier old homes. Optionally, the party can fight with them to try and exterminate the destructive and feral bullywugs. The party can now try to negotiate with the lizardfolk for mining rights (who lack the knowledge and tools to mine effectivly) . Miners and traders can now be imported from the crumbling empire. Both the empire and the lizardfolk get a good deal, and gain significant wealth. The empire brings in trade ships, the lizards escort them through the jungle into the caves. Mining is done, good are traded. The lizards also gain more knowledge from the trade, and experience a fairly rapid growth in thier way of life, becoming more civilzed. The crumbling empire gains wealth, and perhaps is not as crumbling anymore.
Beautiful. Simply Beautiful. I will weave that into the story arch for the island.

However, i could still use side quest ideas/locations. Activities that the party could do in the Lizardfolk base are wanted as well.

Aa i said before, anyone is welcome to post.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

A region of the island could be geologically active, casuing a number of hotspings, gysers, and mud-pots. This region has become hotly contested territory, because amphibans and reptiles are cold blooded, this natural hotspot is valuable to both of them.



Dude, can I plagiarize that for my own campaign if I can get players for it? I was thinking about a subcontinent and island chain that Tiamat and Bahamut are fighting over, with Tiamat's cults currently controlling the mainland and Bahamut the islands, and I was thinking that there should be a lot of volcanic activity, but I didn't put that together with the "dragons are cold-blooded."

And back to the lizardfolk campaign, would that also mean that if there are any large towns, they would have Roman-style public baths for the same reason as natural hot-springs, possibly heated by low-level Evocation spells (and/or Incendiary Cloud, CONJ level 8) in the absence of mundane wood-fires?

Or maybe the rulers would WANT more public baths for the same reason as springs, and would be willing to hire adventurers to clear out wild-life from areas where one could be built in lieu of the natural springs that are somewhere harder for the population to get to?

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

I could still use some help with this. Independent locations, encounters or ideas wanted.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.


Dude, can I plagiarize that for my own campaign if I can get players for it?



yeah, use whatever you want. also, I think ruins of old baths is a neat idea. They don't even need to be magically heated if the area is geologically active. Old style bath houses were often fed by a hot spring. Some modern ones still are. This could also mean the runis contain some sewer systems.

I could still use some help with this. Independent locations, encounters or ideas wanted.


What level is the party? What calsses are they playing?

If you're going with the "lizardfolk are the good guys, kill the mushrooms and save the island" thing then I have a couple ideas, as well as some "random encounters" for the jungle. Keep in mind, the lizards being the "good guys" doesn't mean they are nice. But you should make it clear to the party that they are not stupid feral barbarians, but a fallen race who has regressed to more more brutal, survival oriented way of life. If the party sees them as monsters, they'll never want to help them.

In addition to the stuff I posted before, you can add in an "item quest." Perhaps the lizards tell them the mycenoids are too numerous, or perhaps when they first go to face them, they find they are too numerous(hundreds of minions). After some brainstorming with the lizard elders, they find out they might be able to help.

The lizardfolk shamen have a ritual that they use to capture heat from the sun or fire, and store it in a totem. They use it to help stay active during the cold periods (like a magic pocket warmer). Long ago, the "god of the mountain" became angry at the lizardfolk for [insert superstition here], and rained down stone and fire to punish them (a small volcanic eruption). There is a temple built into the side of the mountain, (which the party now knows is probably volcanic). This temple has long been lost to the elemental spirits(mostly fire) that came after the eruption, and have stayed in it since then. If they party takes one of the shaman to the temple, they could use the energy from a powerful fire elemental, to make an item, to burn out the mycenoids(like a magic flame-thrower). The mycenoids (being plant based) are weak against fire. A lizardfolk shaman can go with them on this mission. He will become the de-facto NPC the party talk to for the lizardfolk.

The number of encounters you have for this mission is up to you. Any time I mention monsters, I'm assuming you can level up, or level down the monster to match the party. Where "n" is the level of the party. These assume a party of 5, plus one NPC shaman.

>First encounter: Entry into the temple,
   The party find the temple looks mostly intact, the entry way partial blocked by rubble and overgrowth. As they enter the temple they are greeted by the lurking "doorman." Hidden in a nearby alcove, he comes to life and erupts in fire. A rockfire dreadnaught of n+4 that is been upgraded to elite. On his first turn, as a free action he spawns 6 fire elementals of n+2 that are minions within range 15. On every turn, he can spawn 4 more fire elemental minions, but there can never be more than 10 at a time.  Spawn one next to each PC to try and keep the ongoing fire damage going. If your party is very shifty, and can conceivably never be next to a fire elemental when it dies, make thier 5 death damage be on one enemy within range 5.

> AMiddle encounter
   As they continue in, they find evidence of some things still living here. Eventually the come across some salamanders, and fire elementals. Both are native to the elemental chaos. The encounter is set in a room with a fissure that has split it in half. It is only 2 squares wide, so should be easily jump-able, but poses hindering terrain to keep the enemy artillery safer. 2 salamander firetails of n+0 and one flamespiker of n+3 engage the party on the near side of the fissure. On the other side are 4 salamander archers of n-2, and 4 "hidden" fire elementals of n+2 that are minions. When each salamander archers is engaged in melee, a fire elemental bursts forth and attacks with a readied action to attack. If the party has prepared too much fire resistance, make the artillery ignore fire resistance, and increase the fire vulnerability the flamespiker gives. If your party has very good ranged attacks, or very good range area bursts, then give the salamander archers some sort of baricade to shoot from, it gives them superior cover(-5).

The party finds out that the salamanders serve a greater fire elemental named "Alumbrar". All of them have come here through a small rift that leads to the elemental chaos. The rift is unstable, and Alumbrar has been working for many hundreds of years to open it fully. It is suggested that the rift opened when the volcano erupted. Additionally, the party discovers an old, mostly intact library, which holds much lost knowledge of the lizardfolk.

>Final encounter
  Alumbrar has made his home in the rear of the temple. The rear of the temple has portions which have collapsed into the mountain, leaving "sink holes" that show lava flows underneath them. These are scattered around the room the encounter is in. They must have at least 7 squares in between each one, and are no larger than 2x2. Also have some patches of difficult terrain to further restrict movement. The room should be at least 20x30. This large room and the "zig-zag" of pathable terrain favors the solo who is highly mobile and has reach 3. The furthest "wall" of the room, is a precipice which drops into a magma flow. The extreme heat in this room causes everyone to take some small amount of fire damage every round. The amount of damage depends on thier level, and should be arbitraily increased if they all have fire resistance from potions. If you want to favor some characters, allow a endurance check to not take the fire damage.

Arumbrar is a Firelasher of n+3 made into a solo. besides the basic solo additions, add the following traits: He is now huge instead of large. "Firelash" is reach 3, slides targets 3 squares, and targets 2 creatures instead of 1.


"Whirlwind dash" is now a move action, recharges on 4,5,6, and when first bloodied.


"wildfire cyclone" recharges when bloodied, and pushes 2 instead of 1.


Add an at-will minor action power; Alumbrar causes flame to errupt from all lava flows in the area. When flame bursts out of those "sink holes" it does fire damage to anyone adjacent to them. 


Add an encounter power; free action, Alumbrar ends all movement imparing effects on him, and stands up if he is prone. (slow, immobilize, grab, restrain)


Add an atribute; "haze aura"  The intense heat surounding Alumbrar causes the air to shift and warp. Alumbrar has concealment from enemies that are 5 or more squares away from him.


If Alumbrar takes cold damage, he can not use his minor action power, loses his haze aura for a turn, and can not recharge "whirlwind dash" for a turn. If one of your party members is using frost cheesem remove these penalties.


His basic strategy is to use the improved "firelash" to put PCs away from him, and adjacent to those sink-holes. If more than 2 people are in range, he uses "wildfire cyclone." If the ranged PCs get more than 7 squares away from the melee PCs, he uses "whirlwind dash" to run across the room up next to the ranged PCs. The recharge rate on whirlwind dash is much greater than normal, so use it mostly for its movement effect. If you move to hit all PCs with it every round it could cause a TPK. If the PCs have alot of fire resist, make him ignore most fire resist.

After they kill him, they have the shaman harvest his essence into an item which grants an aura 5. Once activated it lasts 48 hours. It does 5 fire damage to enemies that enter or start thier turn in it. This lets the party get through the "unlimited" mycenoid minions they encountered earlier. They also find Alumbrars research(on stone tablets), and use it to close the elemental rift. When they close it, you can DM fiat that all remaining monsters in the temple weaken and die.


Here are some ideas for random encounters. They are aimed at making the island seem as inhospitable as possible.


After coming ashore, they can get attacked by crauds. Make them pretty weak, but have alot of them with hazardous terrain. It happens right on the edge of the water, and every other round, the water moves in and out 6 squares. On round one, the water is out. At the top of round 2 it moves in, and the 6 squre wide strip is now difficult terrain, and any crauds in it get thier +2 for water combat. On round 3, anyone in the surf is pulled up to 8 squares toward the water. The movement ends when they are 2 squares into the water, past the edge of this "surf zone." The process then repeats. Use some craud crushers, but make it if they have a creature grabbed, they can move with them at half speed, pulling them from the beach back toward the water.


when moving through the forest, they are attacked by lurking monsters that rise out of the forest floor. Five animated "loam monsters" and two "fern beasts."  These are 5 Ochre jellies of n-3, and 2 shambling mounds of n+0. All squares that the monsters occupied before they attacked are difficult terrain. The shamblers are re-flavored to be made of "pine needles, pine cones, bushes, ferns, and roots" and the jellies are the living dirt underneath them.

Thier first night camping in the forest, while they are sleeping, have them attacked by a Dire bear of n+5 that has been made a solo. Bump it's basic attack damage by +2d8, and its "ursine crush" by +3d8 It spends both it's action points early, and only changes targets one it has dropped someone to 0. When they bloody it, it runs away as fast as it can. If the PCs are getting thier **** kicked, have it run earlier. Don't worry about the extra damage, because you're going to have it run away arbitraily whenever you want. It's more of an "oh ****, bear attack" moment.

I could be fun to have them come across a Spring Nymph (as a nymph of an actual water spring) who tricks them into thinking she will help them, or needs help, leads them to her spring and then tries to kill them with the help of a roper re-skined as a carnivorous tree, 2 will-o-wisp, and a couple animals like boars or wolves. For a happy ending, have the party realize mid-combat that her spring has been tainted. Then they don't have to kill her, and can "cleanse" her and the animals. The greatful nymph then gives them 2 boons. They all have forest walk for 48 hours (they ignore difficult terrain from plants) and they all get a drink from her spring, which lets them at anytime in the future, use a free action on thier turn to gain half thier level in temp HP and end one poison or necrotic effect they are under.






Other ideas are;


a giant wasp themed encounter, made easier by the nymphs anti-poison boon. Make this a very hard encounter, but if the wasps are defeated, the party knows they can harvest thier honey, which is valuable for money, and has magical properties (and is delicious)


an "undead" encounter with the ghosts/wraiths/skeletons of lizardfolk who died a traumatic death when the volcano erupted. For a happy ending, one of the slain ghosts/wraiths thanks them for helping thier spirits move on, and shows them to a nearby hidden stash of loot.


A chalenge involving riddles. Near the coastline, they come across a set of 8 statues in a semi circle, ancient statues, similar to the easter island heads, (even more ancient then the lizardman ruins). As the party inspects them, one of them begins to groan deeply. Eventually its face springs to life, the stone eyelids pealing back to reveal stone eyes, the stone mouth cracks open. It has the persnality of a senile old man. It rouses the other 7 statues, and all of them have the personalities of slightly deaf/blind/forgetful/ old men. Each one has it's own personality trait, sleepy/narcoleptic, grumpy/complaining, friendly/happy, sneezy/ill, know-it-all/back-in-my-day, dumb/dopey, prankster/pervert. Each has it's own riddle, and if the party can answer them all, they get some sort of fabulous prize. 


A non-hostile but eccentric hermit/druid they meet somewhere in the woods. If they are able to best him in a challenged of strength, agility, and wits, they gain acess to his primal groves. These groves are both a safe place to rest, and serve as portals to eachother, each near an important location on the island.


A defunct teleportation circle of ancient design. Where it leads is a mystery, but they know if they ever find it's other half (somewhere else in your world) they can link them and get free, instant teleportation.

For clarification, the pary will be around levels 4-5. Seven characters: A dwarven ardent, a half-orc beserker, a minotaur runepriest, an eladrin warlock, an hengeyokia ranger, a drow sorcerer, and a human paladin.

I love your ideas. Very helpful, and thanks Vitamin Q.  I do not need as much help with mechanics so much as possibilities however.

This should be plenty, but everyone is still free to post.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

I think I forgot to ask: are the lizards generally Good guys or Bad guys? Or Neutral? Or too divided between different tribes to make a general statement beyond "divided"?

Founder - but not owner - of Just Say Yes!

Member of LGBT Gamers

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Why there should be the option to use alignment systems:
Show
If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

The lizardfolk are generally neutral and hostile to outsiders due to generations of smuggling, slaving, and attacks upon their settlements. A few redeem the whole however, and a few outsiders have shown them enough trust/goodwill to create hesitation rather than all out war. The tribes are rather divided, and many are content with the savage life they have now. Still others who live in/near older ruins wish to reunite the tribes and are less hostile.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

I don't know if you have anything in the works for ways to reunite the lizardfolk, but something that is of religious or cultural significance is always good. i.e. all of the tribes have common myths that they tell, or a commonality to thier religions. If the party were to unearth an artifact that all of them revere, or to find that one of them matches the description of a prophesised hero, it could be something that all the tribes focus in on, and a convenient excuse to unite under one banner. If the party is less strict in thier morals, they could even frabricate the existence of this lizardfolk "hero." By setting up the right events with magic, lies, and good planning, they could make it look like "the prophesy" has come to pass. All they really need is a lizard who is a good enough person to fit the bill of new leader.

I've never thoght of many good ways to get a lot of opposed groups to cooperate except for
MAD (mutually assured destruction) or COB (common overpowering beliefs)
good meaning that a party can get tangible results within a couple years or less of game time, without major assitance.
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