Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 Running the Realms
 HoTDQ Ideas
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

The Grasshopper

1 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2023 :  18:51:29  Show Profile Send The Grasshopper a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic

So I'm prepping to run HoTDQ, but I wanted to kind of tweak written it feels very bland, and I want to really bring out the terror and "horrible-ness" of the Cult of the Dragon, and show more of their power, as well as lean into some of the intrigue that can be going on around the Harpers...I currently have a party of three: a rogue, a warlock, and a ranger, so definitely more suited to shadow-work than endless combat encounters.

So! I had a few, I'd like to start the party in Berdusk to begin the story. It feels more natural to me to start them in another location rather than throwing them immediately into a massive combat sequence. There, I was planning on having them meet Leosin, get a small taste of how much the Harper's have been involved in tracking the CoD, and have Leosin try to recruit them to try to stop the attack on Greenest (if they go, great, if not, they'll hear how the town was devastated). In the event that they do decide to go, I'll have them level up to level 2 through some themed encounters before they get to Greenest, which should help with the Long Night.

Having them meet Leosin before they begin Greenest will also mean they have more of a stake in rescuing him from the Cultist's camp in Chapter 2.

My second idea is I'd like to make Lennithon a dracolich...kind of do some foreshadowing, and reeeeally showcase the Cult's power. I've been doing some research into things that other Dm's have done with the Lennithon encounter, and I like the idea of having an old ballista on the ramparts for them to use to scare him off, but since they aren't really meant to kill Lennithon anyway, I see no reason NOT to make him into a dracolich instead of just a regular dragon.

Thoughts? I'm reading through Rise of Tiamat now so that I can make sure I'm not screwing up things too badly in HoTDQ, but am I putting too much thought into all this?

Edited by - The Grasshopper on 02 Feb 2023 18:54:05


57 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2023 :  12:19:05  Show Profile Send Karthak a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To bring out some of the horribleness of the cult, you could look at including some monsters that are associated with the cult or Tiamat, such as dragonspawn varities, dragonbone and dragonstone golems, skeletal dragons or the Abishai fiends. To play into your Balista idea, you could skip Lennithon appearing in the town and have one or multiple dragonbone golems show up instead as they're potentially mistaken for Dracoliches which could show a fraction of the Dragon Cult's power if they're able to afford to have multiple of those involved in a minor raid, and have the PCs use the balista to destroy one of them which would reveal that it wasn't a dracolich after all.

One major flaw of that adventure line is that there's supposed to be two factions of the dragon cult for the sword coast area, one which follows the new doctrine of living dragons ruling the world and the old faction that was all about undead dragons, but the old faction are either clueless idiots who get given a fake version of a dragonmask to study and don't catch on or they're reluctantly working towards the new faction's goal of summoning Tiamat. Making it so your players can play into that tension could be useful.

Some older story threads that got dropped was a pair of dracoliches and the wight from Hoard of the Dragon Queen taking control of the Dragon Cult at the Well of Dragons a few years prior to the adventure, if your players are better suited to shadow-work, playing up the friction between the older faction, the newer faction and the adult/ancient dragons living in the sword coast who would be adverse to having Tiamat show up would be a good point to start with.

As well there's the Red Wizards of Thay who were active and working with Asmodeus cultists in the decades prior to HoTDQ, both groups would be quite happy to undermine the Dragon Cult due to Asmodeus having made an agreement to keep Tiamat locked up and the Dragon Cult working with rebel Red Wizards. And the various Archdevils who are implied to be working behind the scenes to either help Tiamat get loose or keep her locked up.

I'd suggest starting them in Baldur's Gate and have them travel towards Elturel, allowing them to interact with Leosin on the journey from Baldur's Gate to Elturel, with Leosin hinting that he's headed on to Greenest on business and splitting with them in Elturel or Berdusk giving him a few days head start to Greenest, during which you could have a undercover Harper or Zhentarim agent mention rumours of raids on smaller towns nearby which should give them the idea of following Leosin to Greenest.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2023 Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000