Friday, August 15, 2014

The Chaos Scar - Introduction

There was a period of time where I was assembling "canned" campaigns to run at a moment's notice. These would consist of a series of modules that effectively formed a sort of adventure path. Some were obvious, like stringing together the original 3rd edition modules, and some took a bit more effort - or at least I put a bit more effort into it. An example would be taking a bunch of the good Necromancer Games modules like Crucible of Freya, Rappan Athuk and Tomb of Abythsor and then creating a region where they were all located (I didn't own Bard's Gate). I generally leaned towards sandboxy setup with a linked theme, in the previous example the cult of Orcus.

When I was getting ready to cut my teeth on 4th edition I decided to try and use ready made adventures first to get the hang of things. The Chaos Scar series of adventures in Dungeon Magazine fit how I liked to do things perfectly. I assembled the module, put together a homemade rumor table to get things and going and waited to be able to run a game. And I got to run it! For about four sessions before life got in the way. Since then I've been building on the concept and I thought I'd put it out there as a resource.

General Changes

The Chaos Scar is a neat idea but when you dig down into the adventures it is obvious some of them were pretty much shoehorned in. I've opted to make some changes to the adventures that will be detailed later, but in general this is what I've chosen to focus on:
  • The Chaos Shards - One of the optional campaign starts has the shards playing a more important role. A number of adventures have them inserted in order to tie them in closer to the Scar.
  • Chitteruk - A few cults appear once and are never heard from again. While this can make sense in a "evil is drawn here" sort of way, I prefer to keep things a bit tighter. In this case a few adventures have Chitteruk or some other imaginary voice coming from the Shosh-Gorag acting as their "god".
  • Voran Earthmane - Hey, two adventures reference him, why not more? It seemed a shame that his teleportation chamber only went one other place.
  • Kobolds - Damn there are a lot of kobolds in these adventures and most of them are break-offs from the Fireclaw clan. What is up with the Fireclaws that they keep losing people? Nothing really done with this, but it is a good hook for a homemade adventure.
  • Less Random People - Each adventure has a new NPC or three that needs help or offers a hook. Whenever possible I replace them with someone who already exists in another adventure or the keep itself.
  • Exploration - The adventures are written such that it is kind of assumed you just GO places. I've made sure each location is marked on the map and use exploration rules so that the PCs can just wander into the Scar and find stuff. Of course, just like in older editions, they may not be ready for what they find...
  • New Adventures - I grabbed a few more generic adventures from Dragon that seem to fit in with the Scar in order to pad out what is available.
  • Wellspring - Since the three Madness adventures (Touch of Madness, Depth of Madness, Brink of Madness) work well thematically, I've placed the town of Wellspring as the closest bastion of civilization.

The Adventures

And just so there is something useful in this post instead of me just blathering, here's a compiled list of all the Chaos Scar adventures along with the ones I'm including. All adventures have a level/letter code now for later reference.

1a - Stick in the Mud (Dungeon 171)
1b - Den of the Slavetakers (Dungeon 171)
1c - The Brothers Gray (Dungeon 172)
1d - Death in the Pincers (Dungeon 172)
1e - The Tainted Spiral (Dungeon 173)
1f - Some Assembly Required (Dungeon 208)
1g - A Chance Encounter (Dungeon 174)
1h - Eyes in the Forest (Dungeon 177)
1i - Elves of the Valley (Dungeon 178)
1j - Kobold Hall (DMG)

2a - Sliver's Call (Dungeon 174)
2b - The Shrine of the Galss-Spire Forest (Dungeon 175)
2c - Dead by Dawn (Dungeon 176)
2d - The Hammer Falls (Dungeon 179)
2e - Down the Goblin Hole (Dungeon 180)
2f - The Lost Library (Dungeon 173)
2g - The Crossroads (Dungeon 176)
2h - Slaark's Crown (Dungeon 220)

3a - The Crawling Fane (Dungeon 178)
3b - The Splintered Spring (Dungeon 179)
3c - The Wayward Wyrmling (Dungeon 182)
3d - Storm Tower (Dungeon 166)
3e - Fjorin's Foothold (Dungeon 209)

4a - Glowstone Caverns (Dungeon 177)
4b - The Pillar of Eyes (Dungeon 180)
4c - Vanguard Tower (Dungeon 182)
4d - Stormcrow Tor (Dungeon 169)
4e - Blood of Gruumsh (Dungeon 210)

5a - The Slaver's Stone (Dungeon 181)

6a - Rumble in the Valley (Dungeon 193)
6b - The Radiant Morn (Dungeon 183)

7a - Scarred for Life (Dungeon 192)
7b - Reflictions of Ruin (Dungeon 196)
7c - Head in the Clouds (Dungeon 184)
7d - Scarblade (Dungeon 189)
7e - Vainglorious (Dungeon 221)

8a - Pit of Delirium (Dungeon 190)
8b - The Runecutter's Ruin (Dungoen 186)
8c - The Star touched Grove (Dungeon 219)

9a - Heart of the Scar (Dungeon 197)

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