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2/04/2018 4:56 pm  #1


Dwellers of the Forbidden City

I thought I'd start a thread for this "unofficial ASSH module," since there isn't one yet and I'm running David Cook's I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City for my ASSH game.

Since there's no tropical jungle as such in the main of Hyperborea, I placed the forbidden city in the Lemurian Remnant of Joseph D. Salvador's Forgetten Fane of the Coiled Goddess. I considered a slight re-skin to place it in the rainforests of the Savage Boreal Coast and I'm sure it would work fine there as well.

I'll likely post various alterations of the module for my game here, but feel free to pipe in about the module for ASSH more generally - ideas you have if you were to run it, etc. The group has not yet reached the city proper, so I have plenty of time to steal your ideas! Expect lots of spoilers downthread. (My players in particular, stay out!)

As Cook's DotFC is for AD&D characters of 4th to 7th level, one might use it as a prelude to the Forgotten Fane as a part of a Lemurian series, placing various leads to the Isle of the Serpent within the ruins of the forbidden city and/or in the temple city of Jhaman Ket . I allowed players to begin with 16k XP, so there's one 5th level Ixian Fighter and three 4th level characters (a Lemurian Wizard, an Atlantean Purloiner & a Pictish Shaman). A fifth player may join at some point.

 

2/04/2018 5:06 pm  #2


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

I'm no artist, but here's the "treasure map" I made that presumes DotFC's jungle-hidden ruins are one hex immediately to the east of the volcanic Mt Larashtra in Lemuria. It also inverts the original north-south orientation of the city. The southern edge of the original map is now on the northern, Jhaman Ket/Angkarta-ward side of the remnant.

http://i67.tinypic.com/2qlcxnl.jpg

I have errands to run, but I'll expound on the map when I can.

Last edited by nemomeme (2/04/2018 5:08 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

2/04/2018 8:17 pm  #3


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Cool thread!
I have plans very close to yours. I'm using AS&SH to run a Hyborian Age campaign. The heroes are heading towards Khitai and the Eastern coast which is where I will run Forgotten Fane. On the way, in the jungles, they will encounter the Forbidden City.

(I'm running a campaign about the history of the Lemurians as they existed in Howard's Hyborian Age.)

Last edited by Grimmshade (2/04/2018 8:17 pm)


"But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood" -REH
Rambling Conan Blog

 
 

2/04/2018 10:33 pm  #4


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Cool. I like your Conan blog, Grimmshade. Hopefully we can help each other find what is best in DotFC life for our respective tables.

     Thread Starter
 

2/05/2018 11:56 am  #5


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I'll post my changes to the module when I get around to reading it thoroughly.
Funny that we both decided to use it as a lead in to Forgotten Fane.


"But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood" -REH
Rambling Conan Blog

 
 

2/05/2018 12:38 pm  #6


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Consider your idea stolen. Forgotten Fane is probably my favorite AS&SH supplement and I hope North Wind publishes more like it (mini gazetteer + adventure).

 

2/05/2018 2:22 pm  #7


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

This is my favorite module of all time. I've planned to run it in several systems, but never got to the point the characters actually get there. Paizo's homage for Pathfinder was the Serpent's Skull path, though I've heard that some staff conflicts caused them to drop the ball on the meat of the path which was (part 3) exploring their forbidden city itself--in this case Saventh-Yhi. There were some great seeds of ideas there though, and I've spent a great deal of time fleshing out those ideas.
So, my advice: Give the whole thing meat. If your players are more exploratory, give the city some cool history to discover. Make piecing it together fun, interesting, or important enough for the players to want to pay attention to things like the remnant art and architecture. That also informs the why's and wherefores of the mini-dungeons you'll want to pepper throughout the site. For example, maybe they see a figure using a powerful magical sword on a mosaic in some temple they are looting. In an old library, they learn that the sword was used by a saintly figure of the late period against the serpent invasion. A  bas-relief elsewhere gives an indication that said hero was buried in the catacombs of his obscure church. Finally finding the church, excavating the entrance to the catacombs (requiring an alliance with, say, the mongrelmen--who required the heroes to find a cure for a plague that had been troubling them) the PCs are finally on their way to finding the sword that can kill a certain yuan-ti leader!
Definitely think about fleshing out the various intelligent monster races that squat throughout the ruined city, give them their own intrigues and troubles, places they'll want the PCs to go and things they'll want the outsiders to risk their lives for, and emphasize that alliances among the races will enable the characters to build a staging ground on their way to "conquering" or taming the city.
No such thing as "badwrongfun" but imho just making the whole thing a grind against the bad guys is a missed opportunity. Oh! also, track down "Wilderlands of High Fantasy" which is an old Judges Guild supplement. It has some very useful quick tables for generating ruined structures (your mini-dungeons and monster lairs) on the fly.
Hope that helps!
 


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

2/21/2018 9:33 pm  #8


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

I like the idea of trying to make the city's history interesting to explore, Jimm.Iblis, thanks. I'm never sure what the players are going to be into in any given session (they barely explored a Angkor Wat-style site mini-dungeon I created for the journey to I1 & missed almost all the treasure as a result), but I'll give it a try. There's one local Lemurian in the group and they've got a Purloiner with a dagger that can cast Decipher Languages once a day, so that will help.

I have a lot of affection for "faction play" (two-year campaign with Caverns of Thracia) so I'll definitely aim at trying to make the inhabitants of the city have their own textured motivations that the party can tap into one way or another.

Life got and remains busy so I've not been able to get back to this thread. Map and adventure "seeds" soon, I hope.

     Thread Starter
 

2/21/2018 11:12 pm  #9


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

nemomeme wrote:

I have a lot of affection for "faction play" 

So do I.  You may want to take a look at Barrowmaze. It is a classic megadungeon with factions. The nearby town has a boomtown feel with rival adventuring bands. 

nemomeme wrote:

Life got and remains busy so I've not been able to get back to this thread. Map and adventure "seeds" soon, I hope.

Please pose when time permits, I am looking forward to your updates. 
 

 

2/23/2018 12:25 am  #10


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Area L
One idea I had that I never got to implement and am proud enough of to share concerns the lake. So, you have this lake, right? It's by a densely populated city in a deep valley and a lot of waste and carbon dioxide is probably winding up in it. Here is a link to the wikipedia on limnic eruptions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnic_eruption
So, maybe we have a good idea why this place suddenly became depopulated by its builders. Now, what if the activities of the squatters in the city now, the dragon and the snake-men and so forth, were threatening another one? And how might the PCs discover what was happening in time to stop it/ take advantage of it/ escape it?
PS. Replace the bugbears with ape-men. The setting screams for them, imho lol
 

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (2/23/2018 12:33 am)


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

6/12/2018 9:06 am  #11


Re: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

Great thread. This is also one of my all-time faves! At one point I had been trying to develop a "secondary delve' into the Forbidden City. There are so many unmarked buildings on the map to play with. One is a Tamoachan-like pyramid that I started fleshing out. Sadly, I never finished it... Maybe I'll dive back into it one of these days.

 

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