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Author Topic: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"  (Read 298 times)

Greywolf76

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Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« on: September 17, 2020, 07:05:04 am »

Good morning, everyone.

I'm planning to run "Dwellers of the Forbidden City" in my AD&D 2E campaign in the (not so) near future.

Since this adventure is kind of a sandbox, I'd like to ask to those of you who have DMed it a few questions.

More specifically:
Did you add any other modules or adventures to the adventure? Which ones?
How did you use the different factions? Did you expand the relations between the factions or used them exactly as described?

I intend to enhance the role of the yuan-ti as antagonists. Perhaps they are the original rulers of the Fobidden City, and are behind the attacks and kidnappings because they intend to open a portal to the Abyss to bring their "deity" (some powerful tana'ri) and rebuild their once great civilization. The portal can only be opened after sacrificing many humans and demi-humans.

Which areas did you expand or added extra details?

Any general advice on running DotFC?

Thanks in advance.

spon

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2020, 08:30:49 am »
I love I1, I've run it a few times "as is", and converted it to run as a 3-part convention module a couple of times too.
If you're going to expand it and include other modules then C1 (Hidden shrine of Tamoachan) would seem a shoe-in, although you could change the background to include some explicit yuan-ti references in the decor.


B4 the lost city might fit in, if you're including an expanded underground part to the city. And A1 would seem to be useable. just include yuan-ti as extra BBEG.


I think I would have the yuan-ti being recent returnees - only a scouting mission so far, to locate the temple/treasury/tomb that their legends tell is somewhere in the city. That way they haven't enslaved/killed the other factions ... yet. Maybe the PCs can find some allies, maybe not.



However you choose to do it, hope you enjoy running it, it's a great module.

Omega

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 02:16:26 pm »

Since this adventure is kind of a sandbox, I'd like to ask to those of you who have DMed it a few questions.

More specifically:
Did you add any other modules or adventures to the adventure? Which ones?
How did you use the different factions? Did you expand the relations between the factions or used them exactly as described?

1: it is totally a sandbox, not kind of a sandbox. The players are free to roam around and blunder into stuff however they want. Stiffs going on and stuff happens or reacts to how the PCs go about it.

2a: Nope. Just ran it as was. But dropped it into BX D&D with some slight adjustments. I did plan to have it lead to Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. But never had a chance to followup with that.
2b: Since I was using BX to run it I let the reaction tables help in determining how each faction played out vs how the party interacted with each and adjusted accordingly as things developed.The Yuan-ti ended up being pretty varied and initial encounters were cold. But the party eventually won them over and got a handle on their situations. The mongrelmen were another one, initially hostile as there were elves in the group, but eventually mellowing as the party worked really hard to not harm them. One of the players thought they were 'cute' and was hellbent on winning them over. And eventually succeeded.

Its a really fun little cross between a citycrawl and a wilderness explorer mini-setting. It is also interesting that for a tournament module. Its really freeform and has no real goals other than "find treasure" or possibly "find people lost in area" and so on.
Were I to DM it now for 5e I'd likely make the whole place mostly snake people and the PCs are dealing with various factions within, of which the Yuan-ti are a cult rather than a race.

Greywolf76

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 06:49:40 am »

Thanks a lot for the answers, guys. 

I'm really thinking about including Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan in the Forbidden City - finding and exploring it might even be the motivation for going to the city in the first place - since there are at least two stepped pyramids in the map.

I'm definitely thinking about including the underground dwellings / sewers, so thanks for suggesting The Lost City, Spon. I found some suggestions for integrting both modules here: http://users.tpg.com.au/shargl/dnd/.

Some suggestions from the link above include making the Cynidiceans as the original builders of the Forbidden City and replacing Zargon with the aboleth (it might seem strange, but it makes a lot of sense once you think of aboleths as insidious creatures that might be responsible for the fall of the orginal city).

Or I could make that mongrelmen are the descendants of the original Cynidiceans, possibly altered and deformed by the aboleth's experiments on them. If the PCs treat them well they might make good allies. 

Then, again, I might just use the Lost City maps and fill it with some other creatures (wererats who ended up there somehow - perhaps they are descendants of wererat pirates who shipwrecked in the region and settled in the abandoned subterranean complex).

Thanks again!

Omega

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2020, 04:15:14 pm »
Right. Lost city, moved to the jungle rather than a desert would work fine as well. Or even as a followup to Hidden Shrine. Chaining the three modules together into one larger epic.

Atsuku Nare

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2020, 05:03:49 pm »
Linking these three modules is one of those blindingly obvious "why didn't I think of it" moments. Great work!


So much good stuff in the TSR back catalog, just crying out for moments like this.
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Anthony Pacheco

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Re: Advice on running "Dwellers of the Forbidden City"
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2020, 07:06:41 pm »
I've run this amazing sandbox module several times, even once in a high-level campaign. I used The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, (AKA the LOST CAVERNS OF TOEJAM!), The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, Tomb of the Lizard King, and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

Basically, a group of mountains was in the middle of the map, and it had all the these modules in it or nearby. If I was going to run it again, I would do the same thing, putting better hooks into the factions (containing lore about the other places) and adding D1 through D4 underneath (skipping Q1). That would be the extent of the sandbox campaign map.
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