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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 29 May 2011 :  17:12:24  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings. Now, let's dive into it: I'm going to run an adventure during the Time of Troubles, but I'm kind of a newbie to Forgotten Realms (I've played it a lot, but never delved into the known NPCs and metaplot) and I was hoping to get some advice.

The story begins with a group of adventurers hired by a bard to find some sort of magical item or map in Westgate that points to a hidden treasure in the Sea of Fallen Stars. The bard is willing to share the treasure with the adventurers, as long as he gets the one item he is looking for. Meanwhile, we see the first effects of the ToT: arcane and divine magic begins to act "flunky" (not completely fail), clerics and wizards recieve warnings from divination and even the deities themselves (if they think they can get help from their followers).

So, we have some dungeoneering and exploring here, and we find out the item the bard is looking for is a sword called "the Godsbane". By the time the PCs return to Westgate loaded with treasure and the sword, they find out about the fall of the gods and that Garagos is rampaging through the city. They also find out that the bard is a harper, and he was searching for the sword at the behest of the organization. Being the good guy he is, he calls for the help of some wizards in town and the PCs to stop Garagos: the plan is fairly simple, "the sword can kill a good like he was another mortal", so the bard and the wizard will distract the god and the PCs have to "stab him in the back".

They will. Garagos won't die, he'll flee. The bard falls in combat, and in his last mommentos he'll tell the PCs to take the sword to some high harper authority in Waterdeep while.

1- This would be the introduction.
2- I'm not going to give stats to the sword or Garagos: I think is best to leave this part narrative. Nevertheless, the sword is Mask: the god "became" a sword and planted some gossip about the sword being able to kill gods. Mask-sword steals the powers from the gods it kills, so the plan is to have some heroes do the heavy lifting while he reaps the benefits.
3- I would like to have the PCs meet another "party" on their way to Waterdeep: a mage named Midnight, a mercenary named Nas'r and a paladin, Kelemvor. I'm not quite sure how to fit these guys, but I would like to make the PCs allies (or future enemies) of these gods-to-be. So, after the adventure, even though the PCs are not gods themselves, they are on a name-to-name relationship with some new gods. I don't want to completely remove these NPCs from the story, but I don't want them to be the "stars" either.

So, I'm listening. I'm looking for some advice, story seeds, and if you could point me to some RPG sourcebooks related to the ToT I'll feel more confident about the whole thing.

P.S: pardon my english. It's not my native language.

"Lust And Profit"

Edited by - Lolth on 29 May 2011 20:52:41

Lord Karsus
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3197 Posts

Posted - 29 May 2011 :  21:53:33  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Sounds good to me.

-There are three Time of Troubles adventures, also called Shadowdale, Tantras, and Waterdeep (like the books they're based off of) that more or less mirror the story of those respective books. They're in 1e, so I don't know if any of those stats would be useful, but there are also things like maps, and regional going-ons, and character motivations and things like that that could be useful if you have the characters bump into those individuals during their travels.

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Rhewtani
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508 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2011 :  16:56:55  Show Profile  Send Rhewtani an AOL message Send Rhewtani a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is Nas'r a translation of Cyric?
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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2011 :  17:42:15  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Karsus: Thanks, I'm reading Shadowdale. Not my kind of adventure (random encounters, read-alouds), but it has a lot of NPCs and story hooks. And a comprehensive account of the gods and what they're doing.

Rhewtani: I have 2-3 newbies and 2-3 experienced players. I'm trying to keep some surprises for the latter, so I'm changing some stuff. I also dislike certain things about these NPCs, so I'm changing that too. Nas'r - Cyric is one of them. Kelemvor not being a werepanther is another. Any ideas?

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Lord Karsus
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USA
3197 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2011 :  19:15:04  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I'm guessing that it's not coincidental, but N'asr is the Bedine deity of death, who is associated with Cyric, when he becomes deity of death himself.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  00:13:29  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was sort of coincidental: I thought it was just an "alternate name", I didn't know about the Bedine pantheon. And it was misspelled. :(

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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

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3197 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  13:08:28  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lolth

I was sort of coincidental: I thought it was just an "alternate name", I didn't know about the Bedine pantheon. And it was misspelled. :(



-Even still. It definitley can be worked into things such that it works (Cyric was a member of the Zhents, and the Zhents do/did work to make inroads into the Anauroch for trading purposes, so...), and it's real good foreshadowing, if the players put 2 and 2 together, and have a working knowledge of the Bedine.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
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Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium

Edited by - Lord Karsus on 01 Jun 2011 13:10:09
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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  15:35:44  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been giving some thought to the whole thing and here are the changes I've got so far:

1- Though they are trapped in their avatar forms, gods can and must answer prayers. Divine magic works as usual, except for every spell that allows the deity to make contact with the faithful (Augury, Commune, etc.). Gods have all the responsabilities but none of the perks of godhood, so to speak: if they want to give advice or orders they must meet in person with their clergy.

2- Mystra still tends to the weave, but she loses the ability to cut someone off it. As above, she can't contact mortals directlt by spells. Arcane magic works as usual.

3- Regarding Cyric, Kelemvor and Midnight: their background is almost the same (I'm going to follow Karsus advice regarding Cyric-N'asr), an adventuring party on their way to Waterdeep. Cyric is an amoral an jaded mercenary who sees the fall of the gods as an opportunity for personal gain: when the time comes he'll steal the Godsbane from the PCs becoming the main antagonist. Midnight was contacted by Mystra herself: the godess "gave her something for keepsake" (an amulet, but in reality she fused a portion of herself with the mage's soul): if Mystra dies, being the last portion of the godess she will take her place. Kelemvor is a human paladin trying his best to protect people from the abuses of the gods, a "champion of humanity" of sorts.

I'm still thinking about Mystra's death. I've been reading some comments about it and they are quite righ: the official death seems kind of farfetched (not to say stupid...). Any advice here?


"Lust And Profit"

Edited by - Lolth on 01 Jun 2011 17:39:48
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
31629 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  18:09:33  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lolth

I'm still thinking about Mystra's death. I've been reading some comments about it and they are quite righ: the official death seems kind of farfetched (not to say stupid...). Any advice here?





A question, first... Are you referring to the death of Mystra 1.0, during the Time of Troubles, or the death of Mystra 2.0, which kicked off the Sellplague? The latter is the one most frequently discussed, of late, and there is certainly a great deal of negative commentary on it. But that one happens well after the Time of Troubles, so you can ignore that for a campaign set during the ToT.

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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  18:14:52  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The death of Mystra "1.0" during the ToT.

"Lust And Profit"
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  19:33:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lolth

The death of Mystra "1.0" during the ToT.



So her death at Helm's hands, while trying to get back into the planes, strikes you as stupid? I ask only to make sure we're discussing the same death.

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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2011 :  21:20:34  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Farfetched, and a bit stupid, yes. Being the godess that she is it's hard for me to understand why: 1) Ao set the whole thing up to teach humility and responsability to the gods but allows the godess of magic to be slain in a way that shocks magic and magic users all around the world (incidentaly, he also leaves mortals without any divine aid and god-like beings rampaging through the realms); 2) Mystra battles Helm (who is backed by Ao and still a god, whereas Mystra is trapped in her avatar) in the first place. Isn't she smarter than that? Shouldn't she?

Maybe I'm missing something. Am I? Maybe I didn't get Ao's motives right: is it only punishment and revenge? Does he care abouth the followers of the deities? Magic-users? Does Mystra have some kind of "edge" over Helm that fails at the last minute?

"Lust And Profit"

Edited by - Lolth on 02 Jun 2011 17:35:37
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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 02 Jun 2011 :  17:13:41  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-The reason for the Time of Troubles was, basically, to teach the deities some humility, like you said. Before, according to those books, the deities basically treated/thought of their worshipers as pawns, things to give them worship and power, to be used as the deities felt. By making them mortal and banishing them to Abeir-Toril, they would appreciate their followers, and would see them as more than just pieces of meat that pray to them. I'll admit, I never got the sense that that's how the deities regarded their worshipers in sources before those books, though.

-As for Mystra, she did what she did because she felt she had to. Did she stand much of a chance against Helm, who still had his divinity? No. Did she know that? Maybe. But, she felt she had to get back up the Celestial Staircase, no matter what the cost. And, she paid the ultimate price.

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Halidan
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Posted - 02 Jun 2011 :  21:06:55  Show Profile  Visit Halidan's Homepage Send Halidan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a thought. The sword that Cyric finds while he is still a mortal and kills Bhaal with (which was actually the god Mask in disguise) is named Godsbane.

If your players have any deep knowledge of the Time of Troubles, being asked to locate a sword called The Godsbane, may set off all sorts of alarm bells. You know your players better than I do. If you think they might confuse your sword, The Godsbane, with Cyric's Godsbane, then you might want to change the name of the sword. Or maybe not - perhaps your players might enjoy thinking that they have a chance to interfer with the Time of Troubles.

I know it's metagaming, but I use my players out of game knowledge of the Realms to enhance thier in game experience. Your mileage may vary.

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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  04:14:42  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Karsus: I agree; abuse, punishment and terror are the M.O. of some deities (Umberlee comes to mind), but I don't think that was the case with most of them. Regarding Mystra's actions and motives, your comment got me thinking thay maybe I'm picturing her more aloof and intellectual than she really is. Gods have personalities after all. Still, do you think that having arcane and divine magic during the ToT is a good idea? I'm not so confident about changing something that big...

Halidan: Good idea. I'll do that, maybe I can take advantage of some in-game knowledge.

Me estį costando horrores escribir todo esto en inglés. Pero vale la pena.


"Lust And Profit"

Edited by - Lolth on 03 Jun 2011 04:15:45
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6698 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  13:24:36  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speaking of metagaming: The ultimate reason for staging the Time of Troubles, Avatar Crisis, novels, modules, etc was to provide an "in Realms" consistency when - for the first time ever - D&D was revamped into a newer sexier rules edition rollout. The differences between AD&D 1E and 2E rules were largely organizational and primarily involved changes to magic and spells and spellcasting classes ... so they replaced the goddess of magic to explain why magic was suddenly a bit different, ergo Mystra-1 was slain and Mystra-2 (Midnight) ascended.

Not a bad idea, but the problem is they then created historical background explaining that Mystra-1 was actually the replacement for Mystra-0 (Mystryl) ... then they replaced Mystra-2 with Mystra-3, or are we on Mystra-4 now? Always some kind of didn't-see-that-coming divine sucker punch followed by some sort of selfless sacrifice to "save the Weave" and some otherwise unremarkable peasant girl becoming selected as the next worthy successor to carry the next game edition. Rather tiring and uninspired now, that's where a lot of the negative criticism among us grognards originates.

[/Ayrik]
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

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3197 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  18:08:35  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lolth

Karsus: I agree; abuse, punishment and terror are the M.O. of some deities (Umberlee comes to mind), but I don't think that was the case with most of them.


-It doesn't necessarily have to be just abuse and terror and all of that negative stuff. Seeing mortals as just pawns, not placing too much of a value on them other than being little pieces to give them power, the deities can still be nice, or benevolent, or neutral, and feel that way.

quote:
Originally posted by Lolth

Still, do you think that having arcane and divine magic during the ToT is a good idea? I'm not so confident about changing something that big...


-You can always just use Wild Magic rules for magic. So, it's still there, but not really.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Lolth
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  18:51:49  Show Profile Send Lolth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys. Tonight is the first session. I'll keep you posted. :)

"Lust And Profit"
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Seravin
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Canada
858 Posts

Posted - 03 Jun 2011 :  23:36:37  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think it would be much fun to play a cleric during the ToT. A cleric without spells is just a really weak fighter. If I were DMing then, I'd probably just make them use wild magic tables instead of shutting down their power completely unless the avatar was within a mile.

Sounds like a fun game tho!
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