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Zeromaru X Posted - 02 Jun 2018 : 02:54:16
The new adventure has been unveiled. Is going to be in Waterdeep (because we sure love the Sword Coast)

http://m.ign.com/articles/2018/06/01/dungeons-and-dragons-newest-storyline-waterdeep-dragon-heist-revealed

Mod edit: Renaming this scroll.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 07 Feb 2019 : 04:27:57
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I've had a look at Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Bit sad that there's no mention of Bandaerl, the archlich of the Lost Level, and peeved that they used Elder Runes (I had plans!) but it looks pretty solid. Their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp is interesting ...

-- George Krashos



I can't stand their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp.

Secrets of the Magister says that Halaster may have grabbed her -- but it also says she may have been gone from Myth Drannor before Halaster started snatching people from there, and notes that two elves saw her disappear into the woods in a web of her own spellcraft.

Me, I prefer to think that she somehow became one with the Weave.

I also think that tying Jhesiyra Kestellharp to Undermountain is problematic from the angle of Mystra's involvement with Halaster. You'd think that she'd have an issue with a former Magister being treated like that, and would have said something when she spoke to Hally. Or she would have done something directly, since Mystra's Magisters get special options from her when they die or retire. Halaster imprisoning Jhesiyra means he somehow used magic to keep the goddess of magic from getting someone she would be specifically interested in having.

So once again, WotC ignores prior lore and creates problems.

Now, from what I recall, we never had details on all of Halaster's apprentices. There was Jhesiyra Kestellharp, Arcturia, Trobriand, Muiral, and one that I just learned of: Maerlyn. That's 5 out of 7 -- so either of the unnamed 2 would have been a better choice for the role of "recaptured escaped apprentice."

I think the way I'd spin it would be to go with one of my recent suggestions, and have Undermountain act as a kind of phylactery for Halaster. The unnamed apprentice would also be permanently bound to Undermountain, but not to the point of being reincarnated/reformed as a living being, the way Halaster is. Instead, this apprentice would be a disembodied intelligence. The apprentice would be able to whisper a few words here and there, maybe manipulate things as per the mage hand spell, and not much else -- I don't know that I'd even go as far as a visible manifestation.

And because the apprentice has a bond to Undermountain similar to Hally's, Hally is utterly unable to detect him/her. He knows the apprentice is still around in some form, but can't do much about it without risking his own bonds to Undermountain.

I'm also not digging this "knot in the Weave" thing. I'm still pondering how to respin that to something else.

Edit: Cast banish typo



Thinking on this a bit more...

New idea: Jhesiyra Kestellharp leaves Undermountain to go do her own thing. She winds up with some apprentices of her own, ones that are very talented.

When Halaster later came for Jhesiyra, she was elsewhere. Thinking to protect her, one of the apprentices used her magic to assume Jhesiyra's form.

Back in Undermountain, Halaster used his magic to permanently bind this apprentice (whom I am dubbing Twosiyra) to Undermountain. And then his madness caused him to wander off and basically forget about her.

The apprentice didn't last long after that, but because of Halaster's workings, when she died, she was still bound to Undermountain.

The real Jhesiyra, also hiding in a different form, found out what happened and snuck into Undermountain. She found Twosiyra, but wasn't able to free her. Jhesiyra was able to strengthen Twosiyra, though, at the latter's request, giving her some more options.

Instead of the ridiculous idea of not letting PCs go thru gates into areas where they could be killed, Twosiyra is more of an occasional helper. She can, a few times a day, whisper a dozen words or so to people. And even fewer times a day, she can use a mage hand type effect.

As a way to work against Halaster, what Twosiyra does is warn adventurers when she can -- minor things, like "strong foes ahead!" or "'ware traps in the floor!" And sometimes, she'll use the mage hand to either trip a trap before someone hits it, or do something like grab a trip wire to keep it from having an effect when someone hits it.

All minor things that help adventurers, and keep Halaster's Halls from being quite as deadly as they could be. Of course, she's only one person, so she can only be in one place at a time -- and even then, she's very limited in what she can do. So there are a lot of adventurers that she's unable to help, and any group of PCs might not get any more than one or two assists every few days. She won't shadow one party as their unseen protector, because there are always a whole bunch of fools wandering the Underhalls, and she wants to help as many as she can.

This keeps the idea of someone looking out for the PCs, without breaking the lore or having the ridiculous idea of keeping PC idiocy from leading to a TPK.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Jan 2019 : 12:07:07
quote:
Originally posted by Petra_W

I liked the waterdeep adventure very much. A nice base to establish more adventures in and around waterdeep. You can just take one story path for the dragon heist, but the other 3 villains have potential for other adventures to deal with them.


Now its recommendet to progress the campaign in the mad mage book. Am I right, that it is just a dungeon crawler like "Tales of the jawning portal?". One room after another, with monsters, traps and riddles? A magic item here and there and opportunity to level up. But lore wise or history wise not much?


I think TotyP has gotten no DDAL Season, right? So Mad mage will also get no adventures at DMG? The feature just the "story adventures" like Season 8 with waterdeep?


edit and OT: Is there a chronological overview for the DDAL products on DMG? The layout there could be better.



TotyP was taking various adventures from previous editions of the game and simply updating them to 5e. There is commonality at least to Undermountain in that the various levels have links to one another, etc... They aren't absolutely disparate.
Petra_W Posted - 04 Jan 2019 : 11:15:52
I liked the waterdeep adventure very much. A nice base to establish more adventures in and around waterdeep. You can just take one story path for the dragon heist, but the other 3 villains have potential for other adventures to deal with them.


Now its recommendet to progress the campaign in the mad mage book. Am I right, that it is just a dungeon crawler like "Tales of the jawning portal?". One room after another, with monsters, traps and riddles? A magic item here and there and opportunity to level up. But lore wise or history wise not much?


I think TotyP has gotten no DDAL Season, right? So Mad mage will also get no adventures at DMG? The feature just the "story adventures" like Season 8 with waterdeep?


edit and OT: Is there a chronological overview for the DDAL products on DMG? The layout there could be better.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 28 Dec 2018 : 05:21:51
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I'm so tired of WotC just pulling things out of hats (I could have said that more bluntly) with no regards to previous lore.



Indeed. Going with one of the two unnamed apprentices would have been easier and would have avoided any lore issues... Plus, they could have done something really interesting with that apprentice -- what if, theoretically, the apprentice became undead and tried to join the Twisted Rune? Even before Halaster's Highharvestide, I would expect him to look upon such a thing with disfavor.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 28 Dec 2018 : 04:12:31
I'm so tired of WotC just pulling things out of hats (I could have said that more bluntly) with no regards to previous lore.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 28 Dec 2018 : 03:56:34
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I've had a look at Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Bit sad that there's no mention of Bandaerl, the archlich of the Lost Level, and peeved that they used Elder Runes (I had plans!) but it looks pretty solid. Their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp is interesting ...

-- George Krashos



I can't stand their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp.

Secrets of the Magister says that Halaster may have grabbed her -- but it also says she may have been gone from Myth Drannor before Halaster started snatching people from there, and notes that two elves saw her disappear into the woods in a web of her own spellcraft.

Me, I prefer to think that she somehow became one with the Weave.

I also think that tying Jhesiyra Kestellharp to Undermountain is problematic from the angle of Mystra's involvement with Halaster. You'd think that she'd have an issue with a former Magister being treated like that, and would have said something when she spoke to Hally. Or she would have done something directly, since Mystra's Magisters get special options from her when they die or retire. Halaster imprisoning Jhesiyra means he somehow used magic to keep the goddess of magic from getting someone she would be specifically interested in having.

So once again, WotC ignores prior lore and creates problems.

Now, from what I recall, we never had details on all of Halaster's apprentices. There was Jhesiyra Kestellharp, Arcturia, Trobriand, Muiral, and one that I just learned of: Maerlyn. That's 5 out of 7 -- so either of the unnamed 2 would have been a better choice for the role of "recaptured escaped apprentice."

I think the way I'd spin it would be to go with one of my recent suggestions, and have Undermountain act as a kind of phylactery for Halaster. The unnamed apprentice would also be permanently bound to Undermountain, but not to the point of being reincarnated/reformed as a living being, the way Halaster is. Instead, this apprentice would be a disembodied intelligence. The apprentice would be able to whisper a few words here and there, maybe manipulate things as per the mage hand spell, and not much else -- I don't know that I'd even go as far as a visible manifestation.

And because the apprentice has a bond to Undermountain similar to Hally's, Hally is utterly unable to detect him/her. He knows the apprentice is still around in some form, but can't do much about it without risking his own bonds to Undermountain.

I'm also not digging this "knot in the Weave" thing. I'm still pondering how to respin that to something else.

Edit: Cast banish typo
Zeromaru X Posted - 15 Dec 2018 : 03:32:21
quote:
Originally posted by RealmProtector

...Skullport as it was originally before the “spellplague”.



Well, you don't have to worry. The Skullport of this book is way different to the one they described in 4e materials.

I've borrowed the book and my first reading was the Skullport chapter, and none of the stuff mentioned in Dungeon 200 is even referenced in this chapter. Nor the NPCs, places or the really cool ideas (such as the Fourthteen Skull or the blind beholder who claimed to be The Eye). The only feature of this version of Skullport is that is the Xanathar's hideout.

Is not bad, I guess. I can reconcile the two versions, but it was a letdown...
RealmProtector Posted - 09 Dec 2018 : 00:21:47
I’ve been reading through the book, on the 4th level now. I’ve also read some in the Skullport chapter. I’ll always be a 2nd/3rd edition diehard, completely ignoring 4th edition. that being said the book is pretty good so far. There are some things I didn’t like and some I do. Undermountain resurrecting Halaster LOVED this idea. Knot in the weave awesome though I would take it a step further and change the amount of time for the madness to take hold, say perhaps it’s different for each individual. Some folks don’t go mad (as per the book) while others my go mad in a day/week/month. Could be very useful in harassing PC’s. George mentioned the Jhesiyra thing, I don’t really like the idea, I prefer her as a living spell. I also prefer the gates and architecture in the original 2e boxed set and Skullport as it was originally before the “spellplague”. I plan to run this adventure but I plan to combine ideas/situations from this book with the original boxes sets and the three stand alone adventure to really make a mega dungeon adventure.
George Krashos Posted - 06 Dec 2018 : 23:23:23
I've had a look at Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Bit sad that there's no mention of Bandaerl, the archlich of the Lost Level, and peeved that they used Elder Runes (I had plans!) but it looks pretty solid. Their take on Jhesiyra Kestellharp is interesting ...

-- George Krashos
farinal Posted - 06 Dec 2018 : 21:58:13
I like the Dragon Heist module. Especially some paths have really good storytelling opportunities. But what I really want to run is the Dungeon of the Mad Mage. I received my book last week and didn't have the chance to read it fully yet. But I really like what I see so far.
sleyvas Posted - 04 Dec 2018 : 22:44:05
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Well, may sound like dumb news, but I haven't seen it here. They have confirmed the current year as of Dragon Heist. Is the first time they acknowledge the year in a 5e adventure.

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Perkins

1492 DR, the Year of Three Ships Sailing (I kid you not). #wotcstaff #SeaMaidensFaire


https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/12/01/any-idea-if-waterdeep-dragon-heist-takes-place-in -heist-takes-place-in-1492-dr-or-1491-dr



Ah, and I just relooked at the SCAG to get a rough idea of time passage since Sundering. So, 1487 is when lands start appearing, etc... so if this is 1492, then 5 years have passed. This does give enough time that cultures should have started seriously interacting again and be past the "honeymoon" stage where they're testing the waters.

Huh, good to know... Thanks Zero.
Zeromaru X Posted - 03 Dec 2018 : 23:14:01
Well, may sound like dumb news, but I haven't seen it here. They have confirmed the current year as of Dragon Heist. Is the first time they acknowledge the year in a 5e adventure.

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Perkins

1492 DR, the Year of Three Ships Sailing (I kid you not). #wotcstaff #SeaMaidensFaire


https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/12/01/any-idea-if-waterdeep-dragon-heist-takes-place-in -heist-takes-place-in-1492-dr-or-1491-dr
CorellonsDevout Posted - 14 Nov 2018 : 19:41:10
I haven't read this book yet in any great detail, but I was flipping through it. Some of the characters I of course recognized, but this is another reason I wish they would pick up the novel line again (yes, I realize the novels are secondary to the game, but as bookworm, they are the biggest draw to me). I want to read about some of the other characters, such as Fala.
Gelcur Posted - 14 Nov 2018 : 05:50:12
quote:
Originally posted by Gelcur

I often spend my cash less than wisely and pick up D&D items before they're vetted.


Well I've done it again picked up the map pack for Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Twenty-six maps are printed on 13 double sided laminated 8.5"x11", also contains some punch out cards to make decks the players can draw from presumably goes with the adventure.

I had really really hoped for poster maps like the old box sets... These maps do not even feature the entire level at times, likely only the parts of the level that will be used by the adventure module.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 09:37:35
Nope. All he has to do is not get caught. Being LG does not mean adhering to unjust laws.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 07:03:13
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I would say that allowing a human to dictate whether or not he could keep something he had already received from its owner created a lot of issues, too.

Just because the dragon is lawful doesn't mean he is obligated to recognize human laws, or to follow corrupt ones.



It does if he wants to live in a Human city
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 05:09:55
I would say that allowing a human to dictate whether or not he could keep something he had already received from its owner created a lot of issues, too.

Just because the dragon is lawful doesn't mean he is obligated to recognize human laws, or to follow corrupt ones.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 03:36:19
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Aurinax could have just as easily decided that Maaril was the rightful owner of the staff, and that Dagult didn't have a legal right to confiscate someone else's property.



He could of but that would have created alot of issues for him. If there wasnt a Law, Neverwinter could have made one saying all property that doesnt pass to an Heir at the death of its owner becomes the property of the city in which case he would have had to hand it over. If he didnt hand it over Neverwinter could have said the Dragonstaff belongs in the hands of someone who can be trusted by the Lords of Waterdeep and as The Staff specficly keeps dragons allowing it to stay in possession of a Dragon does meet that standard ie Aurimex ends up having a constant stream of State sanctioned Adventurers and thieves tracking him down to take the staff off him.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 03:21:24
Aurinax could have just as easily decided that Maaril was the rightful owner of the staff, and that Dagult didn't have a legal right to confiscate someone else's property.
Dargoth Posted - 08 Nov 2018 : 02:11:15
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

So as I'm reading thru this book, I decide to check to see what the current description of the Dragonstaff of Ahghairon is; I was mainly interested in how it passed from Maaril to a gold dragon.

And it says in the write-up for the gold dragon that the staff was passed to him by Maaril. Dagult Neverember later cut a deal with the dragon, saying that if he guarded the latter's vault, then the dragon could keep the Dragonstaff.

Think on this. A human dude says to an adult gold dragon, "You can keep this powerful magical item that you already have in your possession if you agree to be my guard dog" -- and the dragon agreed.

Is it just me, or is that utterly preposterous? What could Dagult have done if the dragon told him where to stick it?




Well it did say Aurinax was entrusted with Dragonstaff not given it ie Maaril said "look after this while Im out of town" of course tMaaril never came back and is assumed dead. So technically Aurinax was in possession of the staff not ownership.

Given the staff is the only way dragons can subvert the dragon ward and enter the city the Staff may well be considered part of the Waterdeeps defences and the Lords may well have a say on who can take possession of it in the event the current owner dies.

As Dagult Neverwinter was the Open Lord of Waterdeep at the time he approached Aurinax he would have had the legal right to revoke Aurinax "custodianship" of the staff and Aurinax is a LAWFUL good dragon .

Aurinax got a pretty good dea, he gets legal ownership of both the Dragonstaff and The Dragon Tower and all he had to do was sit on someone elses gold for 5/10/20 years until they reclaim it. Which isnt alot of time when your a dragon...


Edit: Interesting Dragon Heist claims Maaril gave the Staff to Aurinmax (and its presumably been in possession ever since) but theres a Novel called Godcatcher where the staff appears in the hands of Nazra Mrays a Masked Lord of Waterdeep in 1479...
Wooly Rupert Posted - 29 Oct 2018 : 04:17:45
I found another two quibbles... There are some great NPC names in there, but a halfling named Mookie Plush? I'm sorry, that sounds like someone looked at their kid's favorite stuffed animal for inspiration.

Also, Jarlaxle has a safe, with a combination lock on it. They could have gone with a standard keyed lock, but they decided to go with a combination lock. And rather than make it something random, they decided to be cute with it and make it an Easter egg.

To me, just the fact that they made it a combination lock and provided the combination draws attention to it -- and I'm not a fan of Easter eggs that have big neon arrows pointing to them that say "Look! An Easter egg!"

Me, if I'd've wanted to include that particular Easter egg, I would have been more subtle about it... Maybe Jarlaxle had some papers that needed to be rifled thru, and an important one was dated "20 Hammer, Year of the Forged Sigil." That's an Easter egg you have to look for. It's the same reference, without the "Hey, look at this!" flags and banners.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 26 Oct 2018 : 07:19:24
quote:
Originally posted by RealmProtector

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Browsing thru the book and actually reading it are two separate things.

And we've a long history of people bashing newer material without reading it -- sometimes before it's even released. Someone comes into a discussion just to say "all new stuff sucks!" *and* at the same time says they're not buying anything? That's a common sign of not even looking at new material.

Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed you weren't reading anything -- but at the same time, perhaps you could have posted something more constructive than "everything sucks!" We're trying to discuss a specific product here, not offer commentary on several years' worth of material.

The routine of randomly, pointlessly bashing new stuff got old when 4E was going strong -- and I say that as someone who hated both the 4E ruleset and what was done to the setting. My ideal Realms stops where 3E begins -- but I'm fully reading everything before I comment on it, or I'm limiting my comments to just those things I have read.



First I NEVER said in my post “everything sucks” stop putting words in my mouth!

Second “perhaps you shouldn’t have assumed?” Your a moderator you should never assume!

And last last I bought the book and read it and...well I liked it more then I thought. I may not like what happened to the Realms with 4E and all but there is a lot in this book that is useable in many a campaign with a little tweaking this way or that. I also love the artwork and the book itself as I love hardbacks. So I took some of your words to heart in buying the book and I am actually looking forward to “Dungeon of the Mad Mage” so thank you for that.



Many (myself included) didn't like 4e and what it did to the setting. Thankfully, 5e restored the pantheons, so that is a plus. It lacks the "meat" of previous editions, but hopefully that will change. If there are some good lore til bits, I may check it out.
RealmProtector Posted - 26 Oct 2018 : 05:30:46
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Browsing thru the book and actually reading it are two separate things.

And we've a long history of people bashing newer material without reading it -- sometimes before it's even released. Someone comes into a discussion just to say "all new stuff sucks!" *and* at the same time says they're not buying anything? That's a common sign of not even looking at new material.

Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed you weren't reading anything -- but at the same time, perhaps you could have posted something more constructive than "everything sucks!" We're trying to discuss a specific product here, not offer commentary on several years' worth of material.

The routine of randomly, pointlessly bashing new stuff got old when 4E was going strong -- and I say that as someone who hated both the 4E ruleset and what was done to the setting. My ideal Realms stops where 3E begins -- but I'm fully reading everything before I comment on it, or I'm limiting my comments to just those things I have read.



First I NEVER said in my post “everything sucks” stop putting words in my mouth!

Second “perhaps you shouldn’t have assumed?” Your a moderator you should never assume!

And last last I bought the book and read it and...well I liked it more then I thought. I may not like what happened to the Realms with 4E and all but there is a lot in this book that is useable in many a campaign with a little tweaking this way or that. I also love the artwork and the book itself as I love hardbacks. So I took some of your words to heart in buying the book and I am actually looking forward to “Dungeon of the Mad Mage” so thank you for that.
sleyvas Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 15:35:31
That is pretty cool Wooly. I would love it if somehow when Mystra died, a wizard using magic jar was slain, and a number of the driftglobes in the city absorbed the scattered sparks of the spirit. Maybe they travel to this section of the city on a nightly basis because this is where its remains reside, but it needs help to reconstitute its soul.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Oct 2018 : 05:02:55
You know one thing I've absolutely loved in this book, thus far? It's a throwaway line on page 69:

"At dusk, hundreds of driftglobes make their way from the inhabited part of the city and congregate in the City of the Dead. They spend the night here, then disperse and return to the waking city at down -- for a reason no one knows."

This is awesome -- an odd and wondrous little mystery, just tossed out there, enriching the book by giving it some uniquely flavorful details. Just a couple of sentences, but it's something unique and memorable, and could easily become the hook for an entirely separate adventure.

In fact, it reminds me of the old Current Clack section we used to get.

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