help with some issues in "Through the Dragonwall" adventure

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ToddBradley
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help with some issues in "Through the Dragonwall" adventure

Post by ToddBradley » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:43 am

Hi, I'm judge of a group that's currently playing "Through the Dragonwall". We're a session and a half in, and I was just reading the rest of the adventure yesterday, when I got really confused about some things. And I realized it's due to errors in the module. Could you help me sort out what Daniel Bishop really meant, or at least share how you handled these when you ran it?

Spoilers beyond. Beware!

The first and biggest thing is the encounter areas in The Black Land, starting on page 17. The text on 17 lists three areas - Slough, Badlands, Magma Streams, and Badlands. The first Badlands description is clearly meant to be a different place than the second Badlands description. Maybe one of them was called something else in an early draft and then it got changed in some places? I don't know. But only one Badlands area appears on the map.

Second, related to that, the second Badlands description says, "There are no random encounters here." But the random encounter table on pages 18, 19, and 20 has a column for Badland. So I guess the random encounter table is used for the first Badlands area, but not the second. But again, since the map only shows one Badlands, it's a bit confusing. I'm not sure whether I like the random encounter table more or the geyser table more. Maybe I'll just randomly choose which to use.

Last, and this is a more minor layout problem, the section "Items Found in Mound of Graves (d7)" on page 17 is in the wrong part of the adventure. The Mound of Graves is in the Green Land, pages 10 to 16. But this list of items is in the Black Land section, page 17 to 22.

I guess that last one isn't really a question, just a suggestion that if GG ever does a second printing of this adventure, that would be a nice thing to fix, along with clarifying the first two issues.

Oh, one other nitpick: The map shows the Chasm of Bones as being about 20 miles long and 3 miles wide, sorta like a half size Grand Canyon. But the text says it's just a mile long and 1000' across. I understand the challenge of making a readable map that's also to scale, but if the text is to be believed, the whole chasm fits in one square, and probably isn't visible more than 1 or 2 squares away. I think I'm tempted to believe the text and not the map, since you're supposed to be able to see the phantasmal Valgazur wandering around the bones, and if the chasm is really 20 miles long, there's just no way anyone would see him from the edge.

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: help with some issues in "Through the Dragonwall" advent

Post by Raven_Crowking » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:19 am

ToddBradley wrote:Hi, I'm judge of a group that's currently playing "Through the Dragonwall". We're a session and a half in, and I was just reading the rest of the adventure yesterday, when I got really confused about some things. And I realized it's due to errors in the module. Could you help me sort out what Daniel Bishop really meant, or at least share how you handled these when you ran it?
I'll do the best that I can.
The first and biggest thing is the encounter areas in The Black Land, starting on page 17. The text on 17 lists three areas - Slough, Badlands, Magma Streams, and Badlands. The first Badlands description is clearly meant to be a different place than the second Badlands description. Maybe one of them was called something else in an early draft and then it got changed in some places? I don't know. But only one Badlands area appears on the map.
The original text included wastelands and badlands.

Wastelands: These are areas of hard black stone covered in places with thin soil and pumice ash. In addition to random encounters, these wastelands are inhabited by a species of chicken-like lizards, which survive off of the sparse and thorny vegetation.

Badlands: The broken ground of this region is embedded with chalky white boulders that appear to be the calcified heads of male near-humans who dies in pain and fear. The stone heads vary from smaller than life-sized to vast bulks easily six feet across. Steam vents up from between the heads, through mouths frozen in silent screams, and through empty eye sockets.

There are no random encounters here. Instead, every 1d7 x 10 minutes, a geyser of super-heated water and steam erupts in the vicinity of the PCs, causing 3d6 damage (Ref DC 10 for half). Geysers are easily visible from 3 hexes away, potentially giving characters warning before they enter this region.


If you are close to the sloughs, consider it wastelands; if you are close to the magma streams, consider it badlands. The chicken-lizards are intended to partly answer the obvious food question for some of the creatures encountered in the wastelands and the edges of the sloughs. As you leave the area of the sloughs behind, the land becomes bleaker, more haunted, and less alive.
Oh, one other nitpick: The map shows the Chasm of Bones as being about 20 miles long and 3 miles wide, sorta like a half size Grand Canyon. But the text says it's just a mile long and 1000' across. I understand the challenge of making a readable map that's also to scale, but if the text is to be believed, the whole chasm fits in one square, and probably isn't visible more than 1 or 2 squares away. I think I'm tempted to believe the text and not the map, since you're supposed to be able to see the phantasmal Valgazur wandering around the bones, and if the chasm is really 20 miles long, there's just no way anyone would see him from the edge.
I would go with the text, but I am biased. :D

If you do go by the map, the phantasmal Valgazur is visible wherever the PCs happen to approach the chasm.

I hope that helps. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

ToddBradley
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Re: help with some issues in "Through the Dragonwall" advent

Post by ToddBradley » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:43 am

Thanks, Raven_Crowking. As so often happens, my players totally short circuited things and never even explored the dragon side of the wall. The wizard convinced Rishi the Handmaiden to give him some of the empress' hair, which was easy enough. Then while standing right next to the Dragonglass, so as to make a quick exit, he cast the world's most amazing Magic Missile, a meteor that struck and killed the empress instantly from dozens of miles away. And they got away, back to the World We Know, with some riding moths, which everyone was stoked about. It was a good adventure.

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: help with some issues in "Through the Dragonwall" advent

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:32 pm

No plan survives the players.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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