H1-H3: Demon Prince of Undeath Conversion

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So am I to understand the story will continue with P1?  I would like to see more conversions the backstories are awesome and it makes more sense.  I am excited I got E3 and you do fight Orcus at the end EPIC!!


Anyways my 2 cents for what its worth.




I will at least try to get P1 to P3 to work together better with the backstory I have created. Will see about E1 to E3, they are actually quite well integrated as they are, but maybe certain areas could be filled out more? I have not looked at them in great detail yet.

I wouldn't touch E1-E3. They're perfectly fine as is. That story doesn't need any tampering.


As for P1-P3, all they need is a little fine tuning. The adventures themselves are pretty solid. My thoughts:


P1: Definitely needs a hook back to H1-H3. It needs to feel like the Heroic Tier was a setup to this new journey. I think what you've done with tying in Karavakos and using Vyrellis to kickstart the campaign is great.


P2: Not much needs to be changed here as well. We've already got the callback to H2 with the inclusion of Orontor, and you've already seeded Drow Emissaries during H2 itself. The Hook of having the Mages of Saruun request the party's help is sufficient. This doesn't need to be touched at all.


P3: The Hook for this adventure blows. Who's this hero guy and why do we care that he can't be raised? That needs to be completely reworked. The soul that is being raised needs to be somebody more connected to the party.


And then, like I mentioned, I wouldn't touch the Epic tier at all.

P1: Prologue to P1 Conversion Guide


I have just started with the P1 Orcus Conversion Guide. Started with the prologue, now involving the Raven Queen as she will start to play a more central role in the storyline. Took some phrases from the old sumerian tablets describing the journey of Ishtar to the underworld, meeting Ereshkigal (which have some similarities with the Raven Queen
www.gatewaystobabylon.com/myths/texts/cl...


I also provided a glimpse of Etherans quest from his grandfather before setting out to find the troll king Skalmad. Here I also wanted to use a small part from the famous poem "The Raven" of Edgar Allan Poe
www.ravens.org/ravpoem/ravpoem.htm


PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURES


H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... 
H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...


I you want to read our game chronicles you may find them at:
web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/index.h...

Ran the Ambush/Chase encounter tonight. It took our entire session. but went over pretty well.


I ran it without a map and without initiative. The maps were unnecessary since they weren't going to be in any given room more than a round or two. And I left initiative behind so that I could be flexible with timing and other things to get the proper suspense.


Most of the escape routes and tricks they were able to get themselves without even needing insight checks, which was awesome. The drawbridge, bell tower (including dropping the bell), gargoyles, bookcases to block the library door, lamp oil in the storeroom... all of these they immediately figured out themselves, which was great. I gave them insight checks for the tapestries over the hole and the trolley for the dining room windows, as those ones didn't occur to them.


They realized pretty early, though, that I was simply contriving the timing of dragon appearances and gnolls breaking down doors to maximize dramatic tension, but they didn't metagame that at all. They still hurried through with the proper sense of urgency.


One glaring problem (which I had thought would happen, and in fact did) came up, though. The clues in the servants quarters and kitchen that lead to the detonator were completely ignored. But of course they were. They're being chased through a keep... who has time to stop and read a book? They found them and grabbed them, but it never occurred to them to read them at the time; they were far too busy trying to get to safety. Frankly, I don't know what party would read them in the middle of all that. But once they got through to the final room (and had basically beat the encounter) I nudged them to read them just so we could have the Hollywood ending.


Post-session evaluation, though, they said the encounter was a lot of fun, and definitely a change of pace. It was also fun when I had Terrien Darkseeker (the guy Harwin impersonated) sitting in the Halfmoon Inn when they got back. That was an interesting exchange as they interrogated him (he of course had no clue what they were talking about).


So, my evaluations of those four new encounters, with a suggestion or two for those who haven't played those yet:


Shores of Shadow: Runs really well as presented, but be aware that this encounter is heavily dependent on radiant damage. Insubstantiality and the wraith aura are really potent. Probably need to soften it up for a non-divine party.


Watchtower: Failing this skill challenge leads to a remarkably tough encounter. Make sure you give the proper cues to get the party to realize they need to negotiate. My party clued in to the word "riftbreaker" right away, but didn't clue in to the "Raven Queen" reference at all. Make sure they get inisght/religion checks for these, even if they don't think of them themselves.


Shadow Vortex: The wraiths are really really hard to hit. Expect it, as written, to simply be an encounter with the dragon in a very confined space. Potential frustration to a party reliant on mobility and tactics. And the interaction between the wraiths and mages is better just described in narrative rather than played out since the party is so ineffectual against them. And they won't be bothering with this while the dragon is flittering about.


Ambush: Don't bother with many of the specific tactical mechanics here. Initiative isn't important, exact movement counts aren't important. Just wing it "old school". If you've never played D&D 2.0 or earlier, this will be a little foreign to you. This encounter is far more about just creating an exciting chase. If the party is taking too long in one place, have a few gnolls or the dragon appear on the scene to increase urgency. If the party is already playing with urgency, then don't overwhelm them. Approach this with more the ambience of a skill challenge than a combat encounter (even though they should get attacked here and there to properly scare them). And be prepared for the ending to fall apart, since the clues as written for the detonators are not given anywhere near the level of urgency as the rest of the situation.


 


Our group will be in the Well of Demons for a while, so we won't get to more of your stuff for a bit. Looking forward to the Kalarel reunion, though, and the revised final dungeon.

Hey, Myrhdraak!

I´ve finally read both P1 and the new conversion you did. Awesome, as always! Here are a few suggestions:

1) The Winter Eladrins in the Pyramid of Shadows could be part of Vyrellis former entourage, what do you think? I have a hard time picturing a fey princess coming to Karavakos castle all by herself. I believe she would have several servants, some trustworthy and some not so much. Perhaps they allied with the Dragon in exchange for protection against Karavakos when they all got imprisoned in the Pyramid.

2) Don´t you think that Vyrellis should portrayed a bit more "evil"? When I think about her, I think of a spoiled, egomaniac princess who joined a Demon-worshipping Tiefling and manipulated him into invading her own kingdom. In order to achieve her goals, she even became his wife turning her back on her father and her race. I somehow can´t see her worried about her former kingdom, or her father. Perhaps she could say that to the adventurers, but in reality she sees all this as just a big opportunity for a coup to take over her father´s throne and control over Eltharion. What do you think?

3) What happens when the characters arrive in Moonstair with Vyrellis head? Do you plan on creating a scene where Vyrellis meets her father? How does Rualiss react when he sees her? Do the head keep following them while they move through the adventure? I´d love to see what you plan for this.

4) What do you plan for Karavakos? If he actually escaped the Pyramid, where do you think he´s gone and when does he show up again (in which adventure)? Maybe he could appear way ahead, in P3 maybe?

5) If you decide to go with the coup idea for Vyrellis, perhaps she would flee once her plans fail, joining the drow negotiators in P1 or allying herself with the fomorian, who would later take her to Phaervorul and join Zirithian and the cult of Orcus in P2 (changing her from false ally to as actual villain). What do you think?

Well, these are just a couple of ideas. I´d love to see what you´re planning and what you think about these suggestions. Keep up the great work!

Cheers!

H3: Tying the winter eladrin to Vyrellis background


Great idea Antra. Muchos gracias! (or however it is spelled) Excellent tie in. Had not thought about that one. Then the eladrin kingdom of Celduilon could then be a land of winter! Ties well into the Raven Queen background as well - Me Like! I have added this background into H3 page 24, as well as an update of the "D1: Hall of Blizzards" encounter on page 27. 

This would allow the character to learn the true background of Vyrellis already in H3 if the players is smart enough to catch the hint. However, a cunny DM can probably roleplay Vyrellis quite well, playing out here innocense to the fullest. My players will hate discovering her betrayal later  :-)  

I was also asked to put up all maps I have done in a RAR file, which you now find below (11.4 MB).

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURES


H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... 
H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...


I you want to read our game chronicles you may find them at:
web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/index.h...

Hey, Myrhdraak!

I´ve finally read both P1 and the new conversion you did. Awesome, as always! Here are a few suggestions:

1) The Winter Eladrins in the Pyramid of Shadows could be part of Vyrellis former entourage, what do you think? I have a hard time picturing a fey princess coming to Karavakos castle all by herself. I believe she would have several servants, some trustworthy and some not so much. Perhaps they allied with the Dragon in exchange for protection against Karavakos when they all got imprisoned in the Pyramid.

2) Don´t you think that Vyrellis should portrayed a bit more "evil"? When I think about her, I think of a spoiled, egomaniac princess who joined a Demon-worshipping Tiefling and manipulated him into invading her own kingdom. In order to achieve her goals, she even became his wife turning her back on her father and her race. I somehow can´t see her worried about her former kingdom, or her father. Perhaps she could say that to the adventurers, but in reality she sees all this as just a big opportunity for a coup to take over her father´s throne and control over Eltharion. What do you think?

3) What happens when the characters arrive in Moonstair with Vyrellis head? Do you plan on creating a scene where Vyrellis meets her father? How does Rualiss react when he sees her? Do the head keep following them while they move through the adventure? I´d love to see what you plan for this.

4) What do you plan for Karavakos? If he actually escaped the Pyramid, where do you think he´s gone and when does he show up again (in which adventure)? Maybe he could appear way ahead, in P3 maybe?

5) If you decide to go with the coup idea for Vyrellis, perhaps she would flee once her plans fail, joining the drow negotiators in P1 or allying herself with the fomorian, who would later take her to Phaervorul and join Zirithian and the cult of Orcus in P2 (changing her from false ally to as actual villain). What do you think?

Well, these are just a couple of ideas. I´d love to see what you´re planning and what you think about these suggestions. Keep up the great work!

Cheers!



1) Great idea, as you saw above, I have added it.

2) You are absolutely right. She only gives this story to the players in order to get their help to return to the Feywild, were she has other plans....

3) This is the point were her dark background will be revealed to the players. Put she also carries the knowledge of the Stone Cauldron, which makes her valuable.

4) He's soul is now tied to the Stone Cauldron were he is expected to be raised to life

5) Have not worked out this yet. The tie in to P2 is a little bit hard.

P1: New Background and Adventure Synopsis


Family is away, so finally I get a chance to do some serious writing  Tongue out
Have updated the background of P1 as well as the Adventure Synopsis, tying it together with P2 in what I think will be a cool and memorable way. I also had to change some wording to the court scene in the Prologue as it now have to mirror an eladrin winter world.

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURES


H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... 
H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...


I you want to read our game chronicles you may find them at:
web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/index.h...

P1: New P1 Hook and Map


I changed the hook of P1 making it more natural to tie it to Vyrellis (Page 5). I also brought together the Trollhaunt map with the Nentir Vale (securing the right scale of both)

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURES


H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... 
H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...


I you want to read our game chronicles you may find them at:
web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/index.h...

Hey, Myrhdraak!

Great work, as usual, man! I´m glad you liked the idea for the Winter Eladrin!

I´ve been reading further into the adventures and I may have come to a way to link them all. Specifically, to link P2 and P3 into the rest of the series.

The plans for Orcus to overthrow the Raven Queen aren´t new. As a matter of fact, they began two millenia ago. To mortals, two millenia may seem much, but we´re dealing with Orcus here, and the Prince of Undeath is not a servant of time as we know it. The plans to take over the Raven Queen´s place were not devised by Orcus himself, but by Holchwier - a very smart and ambitious glabrezu who aspired to take the Raven Queen´s place himself. But Holchwier is not a fool and he knew he had no power to do it himself, so he brought the idea to Orcus. The Prince of Undeath loved the idea and made Holchwier his exarch, "blessing" him with undeath (this was Holchwier´s first step of HIS plan; unknown to Orcus, he just gained the power to live forever and could wait until it was HIS time to rule as god of death).
Holchwier created a place for himself in the Shadowfell called The Rotting Throne (I´m replacing Thrullzon for Holchwier in P2 here). There, he began to put his plan in motion to rise Orcus to a greater power (which he planned to steal later on). The first thing he did was find a young Tiefling warlock named Karavakos and proposed a bargain in the name of Orcus. At the same time, he started tempting a very devout priest of Bahamut named Arantham to the powerful will of Orcus.
Arantham´s mission was to found a cult dedicated to Orcus (called the Ashen Covenant) and find spots where the layer between the material world and the Shadowfell were thin enough to open a portal. Six spots were found by Arantham: one near the Cairngorns, one under Thunderspire Mountain, one in the Underdark near a settlement called Phaervorul, one in a cave complex near Vaester and one under a monastery of the Raven Queen led by a priest named Sartine.
By stablishing dark orbs in each of these places, the whole barrier that separated the world of the Shadowfell would weaken and it would allow Orcus himself to enter the material plane (and, unknwon to all, would act as a net that would imprison Orcus and transfer all of his power to Holchwier). Each dark orb placed would allow the armies of undeath into the world to prepare it for the coming of Orcus. The first place which breached the barrier was the Rotting Throne, led by Holchwier himself. The second place was the Cairngorns one, led by Karavakos. Arantham was sent to uncover the Sea of Shadows under Thunderspire Mountain, but he started to suspect Holchwier´s intentions regarding Orcus and the plans to overtake the Raven Queen, so he went to Sartine´s temple, murdered her and went into the Shadowfell to tell Orcus of his suspicions. An irated Orcus turned Arantham into a huecuva and ordered him to murder Holchwier and take over the Ashen Covenant and a place as Exarch. But Holchwier had foreseen this, and confronted Arantham about his betrayal. When the leader of the Ashen Covenant and the glaabrezu entered a private chamber, Holchwier used a Fomorian artifact to trade minds with Arantham, slaying his former body and pretending to be Arantham.
Arantham (actually Holchwier), filled with undead powers from Orcus, claimed a new servant with promises of eternal life, Zirithian and demanded him to reopen the rift between Phaervorul and the Rotting Throne. At the same time, Arantham showed Orcus about a Shadow Dragon called Urishtar and suggested that he started temting the dragon in her dreams. Led by Orcus´whispers, Urishtar built a larger version of the Stone Cauldron, an ancient fomorian device, in her fortress and stared harnessing the power of souls into it...

Is that too complex? Or too confusing? I just wrote this from the top of my head, but my intention is to get a discussion going and throwing ideas at you. I can try and organize it better, but I´d love to see what you think. Is that too far-fetched?

I also wanted to link the Ashen Covenant story, published in Dragon Magazine 364, to the whole storyline.

Anyway, just keep up the great work! Oh, and I´d love if you included a Ceidullion scene in P1!

Cheers,
Marcio
The Antra
Oh, and I also had the idea that when Karavakos forces opened the rift and invaded the Nentir Vale and Winterhaven, the same thing happened with Phaervorul. At that point, the Nerath Wizards and the Drow Priests made a veiled (and unwanted) alliance and created the means to close both portals. Each fortress was built using a mesh of magical techniques. This way, there could be drow hints in the Keep of the Shadowfell as well as Nerath hints on Demon Queen´s Enclave.

What do you think? This aren´t final ideas. I´m just throwing them on the table to discuss and fine-tune them.

Cheers!
As I see it, thematically P2 fits really well into the overall story, and so the only question is the hook. From the sounds of it, the  P1 conversion is going to end with the bad guys getti ng away, which should leave the players wanting to track them down. Rumors of undead in the underdark coupled with the Mages of Saruum should be enough to get them going.And adding a connection between Zirithian and Karavakos or Vyrellis would make the ending more satisfying.

I like replacing Thrullzon with Holchwier - its easy, doesn't change anything or add new plot points, and gives the players names to remember from one history (etc.) check to the next, but I wouldn't bother with the Arantham is Holchwier bit - it makes things more complex without really adding much, and smacks of "secret dm information" that either has no effect on the story or produces awkward moments in the story that only make sense if that information is known - and creating the circumstances to learn the information does necessarily serve the story.
Hey, Swithers! Thanks for the feedback!

I had plans of revealing Holchwier plot later on in the E series, but you are absolutely right: it IS a bit too much.

I´m glad you like the idea of replacing Thrullzon with Holchwier. I really didn´t see much sense in having two Exarchs doing the same thing, since it would only confuse the players. The only question that remains is: who killed Holchwier? Arantham at their secret meeting in the Ashen Covenant? Or the drow, while defending Phaervorul? Maybe it was Arantahm and that was exactly what the drow needed to seal the rift, but then again, this may fall into the "DM information" category.

Personally, I still need a better link between P1 and P2. Even though the plots tie in nicely, I love the way Myrhdraak linked everything together, with H1 leading to H2 through the Bloodreavers and H3 coming after with the Pyramid appearing over Fallcrest. I´d love to see such a connection to P2, but let´s see what he has in mind for the ending in P1. I love P1, but I think it misses great opportunities (such as a scene in Ceidullion or in Therund), leaving that responsability for the DM.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback!
On Holchwier's death, I'd put that down to Arantahm as implied in the Ashen Covenant article. His death helping the drow seal the rift makes good sense. If the players are inquisitive there are answers for them, and if not, their lack of knowledge doesn't pose awkward questions later on.

You're probably right about needing a stronger link from P1 to P2. Myrhdraak's done wonders to H2 and H3. When I first read them, my reaction was that they had some cool ideas, but I just wasn't sold on them as adventures as part of a campaign.

And you're not the only one looking for some playing (DMing?) time in Ceidullion.
I had this great scene in mind for when the Eladrin cross the portal and join the battle in Moonstair. Kinda like The Two Towers, but with the Eladrin arriving in the middle of the battle, turning the tide on Skalmad´s army (instead of simply having the Eladrin there already). I also plan on breathing some life into the Eladrin leader, and possibly one or two NPCs (maybe having one of them as a fighting NPC in the PCs encounters), so that the armor gift of the Eladrin would be more exciting and emotional. I also believe the battle in Moonstair is a great chance for Bax to shine, specially if the PCs pep-talked him before; he could appear charging through the air to help the PCs in the middle of the wall encounter with the Ice Trolls.

However, when would the scene in Ceidullion come in? In the end, with the PCs being welcome there? Between P1 and P2 and working as a hook for the drow storyline? Or perhaps before they enter the Fomorian Keep (the Moonstair portal could lead them into Ceidullion, instead of somewhere in the middle of nowhere)?

What do you guys think?

P1: Hag in the Fens Encounter

I have added the first new encounter as the adventureres travel through the Witchlight Fens. They might also hear a prophecy if the spare the hag her life (Page 6-7). Will add a map later.

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURES


H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... 
H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...


I you want to read our game chronicles you may find them at:
web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/index.h...

P1: Map to the Hag of the Fens Encounter

I have added a map to the Hag of the Fens encounter (Page 7 & 8)
Cool encounter! Great addition as usual, Myrhdraak!
Our group is almost ready to start playing KotS and I will be using your conversion documents.  I am glad you are continuing with tying the paragon adventures together and very much like how you've changed Vyrellis' role (compared to your earlier versions).  Thanks again.
We've been playing using some of this conversion for some time, the 52nd session takes place this Wednesday in fact. I do XP differently (have done since 2nd edition) so we get to play a few more adventures along the way- which makes my players happy. So far we've run through-

Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classic #53 Sellswords of Punjar (Fallcrest)
WOTC H1 Keep on the Shadowfell
Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classic #56 Scions of Punjar (Fallcrest)
WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth
WOTC Dungeon Magazine 167 Heart of the Forbidden Forge
Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classic #60 Thrones of Punjar (Fallcrest)

Which will be followed by-
WOTC H3 Pyramid of Shadows

All connected with the same narrative thread.

You can read the notes from the sessions at ENWorld at-

www.enworld.org/forum/story-hour/253572-...

It starts as a narrative, and then skips to report type updates (time to write the sessions up in full is a problem).

Thanks again to you for this conversion, I've done my own thing with it- a little, but without it I would have had to work my tail off to connect H1-3 in the same way- thanks for the impetus as much as all the new info you've provided.

Cheers
Hey, Swithers! Thanks for the feedback!

I had plans of revealing Holchwier plot later on in the E series, but you are absolutely right: it IS a bit too much.

I´m glad you like the idea of replacing Thrullzon with Holchwier. I really didn´t see much sense in having two Exarchs doing the same thing, since it would only confuse the players. The only question that remains is: who killed Holchwier? Arantham at their secret meeting in the Ashen Covenant? Or the drow, while defending Phaervorul? Maybe it was Arantahm and that was exactly what the drow needed to seal the rift, but then again, this may fall into the "DM information" category.

Personally, I still need a better link between P1 and P2. Even though the plots tie in nicely, I love the way Myrhdraak linked everything together, with H1 leading to H2 through the Bloodreavers and H3 coming after with the Pyramid appearing over Fallcrest. I´d love to see such a connection to P2, but let´s see what he has in mind for the ending in P1. I love P1, but I think it misses great opportunities (such as a scene in Ceidullion or in Therund), leaving that responsability for the DM.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback!



I know its been awhile but I'm starting on H3 and I really like the ideas you guys have going.  To kind of tie this back to the Rod of Ruin and Myrhdraak's idea of it being a central plot point, going with your descussion i've been thinking of having it infused with the spirit of Holchwier instead of Thrullzon.  That is what happened when Arantham meet with Holchwier behind closed doors.  At the direction of Orcus, Arantham trapped Holchwier into the Rod and placed a geas on it to serve Orcus will making Holchwier a better servant of Orcus as a vessel of his power instead of a exarch or something to that effect.

Its just a thought so it can merge back with what Myrhdraak's got going on.

Great ideas though.  Keep it up guys!

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

Hey, Swithers! Thanks for the feedback!

I had plans of revealing Holchwier plot later on in the E series, but you are absolutely right: it IS a bit too much.

I´m glad you like the idea of replacing Thrullzon with Holchwier. I really didn´t see much sense in having two Exarchs doing the same thing, since it would only confuse the players. The only question that remains is: who killed Holchwier? Arantham at their secret meeting in the Ashen Covenant? Or the drow, while defending Phaervorul? Maybe it was Arantahm and that was exactly what the drow needed to seal the rift, but then again, this may fall into the "DM information" category.

Personally, I still need a better link between P1 and P2. Even though the plots tie in nicely, I love the way Myrhdraak linked everything together, with H1 leading to H2 through the Bloodreavers and H3 coming after with the Pyramid appearing over Fallcrest. I´d love to see such a connection to P2, but let´s see what he has in mind for the ending in P1. I love P1, but I think it misses great opportunities (such as a scene in Ceidullion or in Therund), leaving that responsability for the DM.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback!



I know its been awhile but I'm starting on H3 and I really like the ideas you guys have going.  To kind of tie this back to the Rod of Ruin and Myrhdraak's idea of it being a central plot point, going with your descussion i've been thinking of having it infused with the spirit of Holchwier instead of Thrullzon.  That is what happened when Arantham meet with Holchwier behind closed doors.  At the direction of Orcus, Arantham trapped Holchwier into the Rod and placed a geas on it to serve Orcus will making Holchwier a better servant of Orcus as a vessel of his power instead of a exarch or something to that effect.

Its just a thought so it can merge back with what Myrhdraak's got going on.

Great ideas though.  Keep it up guys!

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!




Happy New Year!

Sorry for not been able to keep up the speed with P1. Had hoped to do some work over Christmas, but we are just in the middle of moving over to the new house, so there has been a lot of planning, packing and throwing away old stuff.

Hope to get some time off soon to get back into the story. Great additions and contributions, weveryone! I will try to work it into the storyline.

P1: Celduilon Background Material

I have put some effort into creating a good background story for Celduilon were I want to add more flavor to P1 - making P1 a memorable experience from the Feywild. I have stolen a lot of material from Dragon #366 “Mithrendain Feywild Citadel” and Dungeon #157 “Dark Heart of Mithrendain”, trying to give it a winter eladrin flavor as well as building a thicker plotline and background story on the councilors of Celduilon using some old Birthright material as inspiration (a great setting by the way). Hope you will enjoy it. (Page 8-20)

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Hey, Myrhdraak!

Great work, as usual, man! I´m glad you liked the idea for the Winter Eladrin!

I´ve been reading further into the adventures and I may have come to a way to link them all. Specifically, to link P2 and P3 into the rest of the series.

The plans for Orcus to overthrow the Raven Queen aren´t new. As a matter of fact, they began two millenia ago. To mortals, two millenia may seem much, but we´re dealing with Orcus here, and the Prince of Undeath is not a servant of time as we know it. The plans to take over the Raven Queen´s place were not devised by Orcus himself, but by Holchwier - a very smart and ambitious glabrezu who aspired to take the Raven Queen´s place himself. But Holchwier is not a fool and he knew he had no power to do it himself, so he brought the idea to Orcus. The Prince of Undeath loved the idea and made Holchwier his exarch, "blessing" him with undeath (this was Holchwier´s first step of HIS plan; unknown to Orcus, he just gained the power to live forever and could wait until it was HIS time to rule as god of death).
Holchwier created a place for himself in the Shadowfell called The Rotting Throne (I´m replacing Thrullzon for Holchwier in P2 here). There, he began to put his plan in motion to rise Orcus to a greater power (which he planned to steal later on). The first thing he did was find a young Tiefling warlock named Karavakos and proposed a bargain in the name of Orcus. At the same time, he started tempting a very devout priest of Bahamut named Arantham to the powerful will of Orcus.
Arantham´s mission was to found a cult dedicated to Orcus (called the Ashen Covenant) and find spots where the layer between the material world and the Shadowfell were thin enough to open a portal. Six spots were found by Arantham: one near the Cairngorns, one under Thunderspire Mountain, one in the Underdark near a settlement called Phaervorul, one in a cave complex near Vaester and one under a monastery of the Raven Queen led by a priest named Sartine.
By stablishing dark orbs in each of these places, the whole barrier that separated the world of the Shadowfell would weaken and it would allow Orcus himself to enter the material plane (and, unknwon to all, would act as a net that would imprison Orcus and transfer all of his power to Holchwier). Each dark orb placed would allow the armies of undeath into the world to prepare it for the coming of Orcus. The first place which breached the barrier was the Rotting Throne, led by Holchwier himself. The second place was the Cairngorns one, led by Karavakos. Arantham was sent to uncover the Sea of Shadows under Thunderspire Mountain, but he started to suspect Holchwier´s intentions regarding Orcus and the plans to overtake the Raven Queen, so he went to Sartine´s temple, murdered her and went into the Shadowfell to tell Orcus of his suspicions. An irated Orcus turned Arantham into a huecuva and ordered him to murder Holchwier and take over the Ashen Covenant and a place as Exarch. But Holchwier had foreseen this, and confronted Arantham about his betrayal. When the leader of the Ashen Covenant and the glaabrezu entered a private chamber, Holchwier used a Fomorian artifact to trade minds with Arantham, slaying his former body and pretending to be Arantham.
Arantham (actually Holchwier), filled with undead powers from Orcus, claimed a new servant with promises of eternal life, Zirithian and demanded him to reopen the rift between Phaervorul and the Rotting Throne. At the same time, Arantham showed Orcus about a Shadow Dragon called Urishtar and suggested that he started temting the dragon in her dreams. Led by Orcus´whispers, Urishtar built a larger version of the Stone Cauldron, an ancient fomorian device, in her fortress and stared harnessing the power of souls into it...

Is that too complex? Or too confusing? I just wrote this from the top of my head, but my intention is to get a discussion going and throwing ideas at you. I can try and organize it better, but I´d love to see what you think. Is that too far-fetched?

I also wanted to link the Ashen Covenant story, published in Dragon Magazine 364, to the whole storyline.

Anyway, just keep up the great work! Oh, and I´d love if you included a Ceidullion scene in P1!

Cheers,
Marcio
The Antra



I have been reading this a couple of times now and I think you have some good ideas in there. Personally I prefer Arantham to be human (rather than possessed by a demon) as I think it shows that humans can harbor greater evil than any demon.
I have been planning on getting the Ashen Covenant and the Raven Queen followers more involved in P1, so I might steal some of your ideas there. As to it being to complex or not, I think it is more a matter of giving out some clues to the players at a time so that they slowly can build the story and understand the background to the whole plot as the adventure evolves. I will try to weave the things together piece by piece as the conversion grows. Anyway, great input!
Steal away, man!

I´m still running KotS, but I´m already reading forward. I´m halfway through Demon Queen´s Enclave and ready to start on Nightwyrm Fortress. If any more ideas come up, I´ll let you know.

Great job with Ceidullion, man. I love the way you weave through all these Dragon/Dungeon materials to improve the modules. I also look forward to your additions of the Raven Queen and the Ashen Covenant.

Cheers!
Well, my players just completed KotS -- I had started doing my own conversion, and discovered this one mid adventure, fortunately with enough time to spare to course correct this direction.

A few notes on differences that I had employed along the way mostly spawned from my initial attempts to play up the eventual campaign ending position fighting Orcus.

I sprung a gender change on Kalarel and made her Dorvan Staal's wife, as I was using him as the main initial plot hook. She met him while he was exploring under Thunderspire.

Irontooth  (the goblin leader of the Kobold band) was undead, as were a number of the hobgoblins in the 1st level of the keep.

I made Balgron the leader of the entire band, and to try to reduce the grind, on the second level of the keep I removed the corridors with the Gelatinous Cube and replaced those with stairs to the surface, and then had all the Hobgoblins in the second level abandon ship via that "back door" once Balgron, their leader was killed.  That missing XP was more than made up for by toughening up a few encounters and adding in the post graveyard interlude encounter with a bunch of undead and the tracking Ninaren to her cabin encounters in one of the Dungeon magazines. 

One of my ideas with the Bloodreavers is that there is the KotS bunch who are more dedicated to the cause - I've thrown a letter into the mix from Paldemar to Kalarel instructing him to return some of the Bloodreaver "Chosen" - and the TL bunch who are more interested in the slaving aspects of their business. I'm not sure if there will be an opportunity to let that play out though - the player characters are the kill first and ask questions later kinda folks, and they won't think twice about wiping out a band of slavers.

 Anyways, I've been enjoying these so far, and am really looking forward to the Sea of Shadows - That's going to be fun
Hi so there any more additions I am eagerly updates I love what has been done with H and P series makes more sense then the blob of stuff crammed into these encounters
Does it seem like these modules have alot of encounters in them I am just wondering would they ALL be neccessary because some of my friends seem to think the fights drag on too long and they get bored.  This is what kills adventures the most is boredom too many long fights drag it out.
Oh well my ranting is done look foward to more adds to the forum.

P1: Meeting Etheran

Finally got some time to write. Have just come back from Thailand and after getting some of the stuff in the new apartment in place I finally got some few hours to write - so here is my latest contribution.
The players meet Etheran in the Cloudwatch Inn and the eladrin soon senses the presence of the Head of Vyrellis. A fight start, but the players may end it and hear what Etheran have to say about Vyrellis instead (if they play their cards right). [Page 8-10]

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P1: Meeting Etheran

Added the part were Etheran tells the party the true background and nature of Vyrellis, as well as providing them with a hook to deliver it to the King of Celduilon. [Page 10-11]

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P1: Into the Feywild

I have started planning on reworking the inital encounter in P1. I will let it happen as the adventurer enters the Feywild instead. Spies for the fomorian-troll alliance picked up the conversation in the Cloudwatch Inn and sends an ambush party to steal the Head of Vyrellis.
I am intending to make this encounter tougher - Lvl 13-14, with the focus of stealing the orb rather than killing the party. I was thinking of maintaining the trolls from the intial encounter, add a fomorian dark initiate (but elite rather than solo), and a "Feytroll" (changing the oni mage into a fey troll instead).
Trolls in swedish folklore is much more illusionists and trickesters than the savage brutes of the british folklore. They could fit well into the feywild surrounding. I will able to keep many aspects of the oni mage as well.
Here is an example of the classic swedish interpretation of trolls, by the famous artist John Bauer. Even though his trolls maybe looks a little bit too kind.
web.telia.com/~u26117857/troll.jpg
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c...
P1: Meeting Etheran

Added a map to the encounter with Etheran. Found it on the Internet and did some small modifications with the light and the fireplace in the middle. However, I could not find any source to it, so if somebody know from were it is - please tell me so I can give them due credit.

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P1: The Messengers

Had a first go of changing the initial encounter in P1. Will start working on a map to go with it. The challenge level is increased to 14 but the fight is not til death, but rather until the ambush party manages to get hold of the Head of Vyrellis.
Feedback wanted. Is it too tough? Has the fomorian turned elite the right power level? [page 13-15]

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P1: The Messengers

I have created a map for the Messengers encounter, will probably have to update some of the text as a result of that, but I have not had the time for that yet. There a two different setup areas depending on if the players spot the ambush or not. [Page 13 and 31]. For those of you recognizing the ridges of the icy landscape - you are correct - it is from Iceland!!! Wink 

I have also added the full scale map of this encounter and the Cloudwatch Inn to the Conversion Guide Maps package (compressed in RAR format). For those of you using RPTools, the grid is set to 50 pixels per square.

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P1: The Messengers

I have now updated the Features of the Area description as a result of the new map [Page 15]. Also did some small changes to the Tactics section
P1 Thoughts

After reading some threads about P1 it seems many players would rather like to continue the exploration of the Great Warren rather than heading back to Moonstair.
I am therefore considering to have a Moon Door at Location 14 (instead of the crystal throne). After the characters have "killed" Skalamad in Interlude 1, they can step through but they will then instead find themselves at Location 1 of the Fortress of Mross-Kagg. They will see a huge army of trolls and fomorians forming just on the other side. Realizing that a immidiate attack is coming they will have to rush back to Moonstair to prepare them for the coming onslaught. 
After Interlude 2: Raid of Moonstair, the players can return through the fey gate of the Great Warren and into Mross-Kagg which now is much less guarded. I will then try to move the encounters W7-W12 into the actual fortress of Mross-Kagg, which in P1 mostly is empty. Making the old fortress more of an exploration.
I think this could create a more natural flow to the story. Any comments?
I guess many of you already have played out P1, so how did you handle it? 
P1: Arriving in Celduilon

I have added a description of the events that happens once the characters arrives to Celduilon and meets with King Palenthior. [Page 16-17]
I have also taken the Quickling encounter from the Dark Heart of Mithrendain in Dungeon 157 and only done some minor changes in order for it to fit into the new story arc [Page 18-19]

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P1: Arriving in Celduilon

I have added a description of the meeting with Saffrenia down in the Old Battery, which is the lead in to the Quickling Ambush in the next encounter. [Page 17-18]

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P1: Quickling Ambush

I created a new map for the Quickling Ambush as the one in the Dungeon 157 was not very detailed. Hope you enjoy it. You find it on page 19 and 38

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P1: The Crone of Ravens

I have added a short description of the adventurers travels to the Crone. [Page 21-22]
My intention is to give the characters a prophecy of what is to come, as well as give them the Quest. I am also considering using the Crone to try to turn some of the players to followers of the Raven Queen. There are several cool Paragon Path's as well as Epic destinites that could fit this nich. I also think it would be cool to play a follower of the Godess of Death. Question is if any players would be prepared to change deity?

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P1: The Prophecy

Yesterday night I sat down and tried to write a prophecy the players could recieve from the Crone, foreshadowing the events to come in P1 to E3. I tried to leave it vague in the spirit of a propechy. Sadly I lack rhyming skill so if somebody can contribute to that, it would be great. Anyway, I have proclaimed the players the Raven Sworn and given them enough background information in the Player's Handout section to allow the players to understand what is happening around them. [Page 22-23 and 28]. The fun can start!

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