Monday, May 11, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 11: Favorite adventure you have ran

I'm sure, if you've been following 'til now, you'd know the favorite adventure I've played in is Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.

It was published when we were in college. My fiancé, the one who ran it, remembers remarking that he'd always wanted to run one of those old school big adventures. We were at the mall, in Waldenbooks (before it became Borders, before it closed), and I said/thought "well that would be really cool" and bought it.

The Temple technically started at 4th level, so we did a couple of Dungeon Magazine filler things to get to that point (Gorgoldand's Gauntlet, something else I don't remember the name of....monastery of the scarlet fist or something?) from 1st level. The four main characters (we had a long-running NPC after awhile, and a couple of friends who came in and fell out as their play schedules allowed) were Brigid, my human fighter, Aramil the Elvish wizard, the aforementioned Manyarmed gnomish rogue, and Kyre (sp?) the half elf druid who really wanted to be a blink dog instead so I don't actually remember if he was a human or a half elf or what because he spent so much time as a dog.

The Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil is one of those big old "do this and save the world from X evil" adventures (as you might have guessed from the title). It involves a couple of different environments, a local town, a structure called the Moat House which had underground stuff which needed to be cleared out, the Crater Ridge Mines, and the inner ring which contained the elemental temples themselves. And then, oh yeah, the part at the end where SPOILERS you go to like a pocket corner of the elemental plane of fire and fight the elemental prince of fire, Imix SPOILERS

As stated, our many-armed rogue died two (or three) times during the course of the adventure. The bookend of the adventure, actually, was "Where did he go?" and then we'd find him, say, in the embrace of a mimic (which is a beastie which pretends to be a treasure chest and then tries to eat you). Or in a room next to a couple of snake nagas. Or getting his arm cut off. He was a good rogue, but he was a hapless rogue. Relentlessly cheerful, though, and damned loyal.

The wizard, once he learned about things like pearls of power and ioun stones, got his hands on them whenever he could and they orbited his face like teensy moons. He also became a guild wizard and came into possession of an intelligent sentient sword.

Said druid actually became a blink dog. More or less. He had a super rad spirit quest and everything. He was the party's main healer, and did things like regenerative circle, which would heal everybody a little bit every round. He grew back at least one arm for our gnome, and it was probably more like two (though he stitched it on one of those times, but it didn't take). This was the first time I'd seen druid used for any amount of time, and in addition to the healing power it had in 3rd edition (which was somewhat diminished, but also somewhat due to the third party books), it's where I learned to respect the "flaming sphere" and "produce flame" spells.

And yeah. We successfully saved the world at the end. I know you wondered. Fighting Imix was a bitch and at least two of us almost died and I almost lost my sword, but we did it.

There are other homebrew adventures I enjoyed quite a lot, both recently and historically, but as I'm not the one who created the campaign setting, or told the story, I don't feel comfortable just blabbing it out here. That feels like plagiarism plain and simple and while it's awesome to remember those stories with the people who played them, or talk about them with other people at our tables, here isn't the appropriate venue to air them.

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