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Thread: The Harrowmarsh

  1. #1
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    So one of the players in my campaign was reading the Blood Enemies entry
    regarding the Hydra the other day. He got to the end of the text and
    found the information on the Caracdir, and decided that a pretty good
    way to raise his own bloodline was to commit bloodtheft on a few of
    them. Since their bloodlines are tainted, the possibility of having his
    own bloodline corrupted is fairly unlikely.

    The players have asked me to come up with an adventure for them in the
    Harrowmarsh. They don't want to make hunting Caracdir the main focus of
    it, but do want to have the opportunity to run into a few of them, and
    possibly raise their bloodlines a bit.

    Now, I've already decided to make this adventure unpleasant as all hell
    for the PCs, but I thought I'd run it by the folks out there to see if
    they had any ideas on how I could make the Harrowmarsh live up to its
    name. I'm currently thinking I will have the High Mage Aelies send them
    off to the Harrowmarsh to collect some reagent or other for him. At
    that point, anything can happen.

    My current thoughts are:

    1. The Hydra. I could have this beastie attack the party, but I'm a bit
    leery to do that. He could possibly kill everyone in the party, and I
    don't really want to wipe them out.

    2. The Caracdir. I'm thinking of making these guys relatively peaceful
    and nice. That will pretty much scrag the players plot to raise their
    bloodlines by killing them.

    3. Poisonous creatures. Poison is one of those things that players seem
    to genuinely fear. It's one of the few things out there that can kill
    quickly and instantly, which means putting a few creatures with deadly
    poison might set the tone properly for the adventure.

    4. Fighting in swamps. I'm going to rule that dexterity bonuses are
    pretty much gone when fighting in the swamps. Does a -1 to hit sound
    reasonable for PCs fighting knee deep in the swamp?

    5. Hydrakin. I'm going to make the spawn of the Hydra the real
    opponents of the adventure. If the players want to raise their
    bloodline, let them risk it against creatures with 8+4HD rather than
    3+3HD (which is what the Caracdir have.) Plus, I think they should take
    their chances with losing their own bloodlines against a creature with
    minor rather than tainted bloodline strengths.

    6. I'm thinking of an encounter with Dwynaa the Bose, the alchemist
    described in Blood Enemies, but I haven't decided if she will be friend
    or foe. (I'm leaning towards foe.)

    Anybody else have any ideas?

    Gary

  2. #2
    darkstar
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    Gary V. Foss wrote:

    > Now, I've already decided to make this adventure unpleasant as all hell
    > for the PCs, but I thought I'd run it by the folks out there to see if
    > they had any ideas on how I could make the Harrowmarsh live up to its
    > name. I'm currently thinking I will have the High Mage Aelies send them
    > off to the Harrowmarsh to collect some reagent or other for him. At
    > that point, anything can happen.
    >
    > Anybody else have any ideas?

    You may wish to check out the following address. I created some info on
    the harrowmarsh some time ago and it can be found there.

    http://darkstar.cyberserv.com/netbook/info/info4.html

    - --
    Ian Hoskins

    e-Mail: hoss@box.net.au
    Homepage: http://darkstar.cyberserv.com
    Aduria: http://members.xoom.com/ihoskins

    ICQ: 2938300 AIM: IHoskins

  3. #3
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    At 01:55 AM 10/15/98 -0700, Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >The players have asked me to come up with an adventure for them in the
    >Harrowmarsh.

    As my previous campaign was based in Baruk-Azhik, I have a few things to say
    about this area. First regarding the Harrowmarsh, keep the Red Witch in
    mind. What is her relationship to the High Mage Aelies? Will she notice
    some adventurers collecting a reagent (which presumably the Red Witch knows
    about)? Of course in the long run, her real preoccupation is her struggle
    against the Hydra. Player's secrets of Binsada has the goods on the Red Witch.

    If you might want to run the Sword of Roele adventure in the future, drop
    some relavent hints pertaining to that adventure. It takes place in the
    Chimaeron.

    Also keep in mind that there is a Civil War going in the Rohrmarch.

    Including details about goings on in Binsada, Rohrmarch, the Chimaeron, and
    so forth (even if you never plan to hook your players into an adventure
    there) make it look like a world in motion everywhere on the continent, not
    just where your players are adventuring. Its also good for keeping your
    players wondering what information you give them is relavent for their own
    goals.

    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net

  4. #4
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    The Harrowmarsh

    In a message dated 98-10-15 18:24:17 EDT, you write:

    >
    Always my favorite trick.
    As for the marsh itself, I endorse poisonous creatures, tougher opponents
    than they plan on, and maybe a meeting with the Big H itself (themselves?).
    After all, the players want to bump into something blooded, but are trying to
    be coy about it. Bloodtheft should never be easy, it should involve serious
    risk to life and limb. Don't be afraid to kill a PC if you are doing
    something that they want to do, you should really only shy away from setting
    up fatal traps that they can't avoid.

    Lee.

  5. #5
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    > As my previous campaign was based in Baruk-Azhik, I have a few things to say
    > about this area. First regarding the Harrowmarsh, keep the Red Witch in
    > mind. What is her relationship to the High Mage Aelies? Will she notice
    > some adventurers collecting a reagent (which presumably the Red Witch knows
    > about)? Of course in the long run, her real preoccupation is her struggle
    > against the Hydra. Player's secrets of Binsada has the goods on the Red Witch.
    >
    > If you might want to run the Sword of Roele adventure in the future, drop
    > some relavent hints pertaining to that adventure. It takes place in the
    > Chimaeron.
    >
    > Also keep in mind that there is a Civil War going in the Rohrmarch.
    >
    > Including details about goings on in Binsada, Rohrmarch, the Chimaeron, and
    > so forth (even if you never plan to hook your players into an adventure
    > there) make it look like a world in motion everywhere on the continent, not
    > just where your players are adventuring. Its also good for keeping your
    > players wondering what information you give them is relavent for their own
    > goals.

    This is really good input, Kenneth. Thanks. One of the coolest aspects of BR is
    that it incorporates national politics into the gaming environment and how those
    issues are going to effect adventurers. Honestly, I hadn't even thought about that
    when I was coming up with my adventure ideas, as I was too involved in the
    particulars. Thanks for reminding me.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Mark A Vandermeulen
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    On Thu, 15 Oct 1998, Gary V. Foss wrote:

    > 1. The Hydra. I could have this beastie attack the party, but I'm a bit
    > leery to do that. He could possibly kill everyone in the party, and I
    > don't really want to wipe them out.

    My advice: They shouldn't run into him unless they are captured by the
    Hydrakin. Unless they are especially seeking him (them?) the Hydra should
    remain a shadowy character of extreme menace. Also: always remember that
    the picture in the Blood Emenies book is only an artist's rendering: the
    real hydra is probably much more scary and spooky than that.

    > 2. The Caracdir. I'm thinking of making these guys relatively peaceful
    > and nice. That will pretty much scrag the players plot to raise their
    > bloodlines by killing them.

    Whole-heartedly agree with this ploy.

    > 3. Poisonous creatures. Poison is one of those things that players seem
    > to genuinely fear. It's one of the few things out there that can kill
    > quickly and instantly, which means putting a few creatures with deadly
    > poison might set the tone properly for the adventure.

    I had a paleontology course once with a paleontologist who studied the
    evolution of crocodiles. I remember clearly that after the dinosaurs were
    killed at the end of the cretaceous, there was a wonderful radiation of
    crocodilians, which included some that were about as large as modern crocs
    but had long legs. Imagine being chased by a spiky-teethed croc WHO CAN
    RUN AS FAST AS A CHEETA. Or perhaps half-sized crocs who can climb trees
    and drop down en mass on unsuspecting travellers. Keep them guessing,
    that's my motto. So go for the poisonous things, but don't forget all of
    the fun things you can do with crocs, too.

    > 4. Fighting in swamps. I'm going to rule that dexterity bonuses are
    > pretty much gone when fighting in the swamps. Does a -1 to hit sound
    > reasonable for PCs fighting knee deep in the swamp?

    Excellent! I'm going to have to keep this in mind for when my player are
    next in a swamp.

    > 5. Hydrakin. I'm going to make the spawn of the Hydra the real
    > opponents of the adventure. If the players want to raise their
    > bloodline, let them risk it against creatures with 8+4HD rather than
    > 3+3HD (which is what the Caracdir have.) Plus, I think they should take
    > their chances with losing their own bloodlines against a creature with
    > minor rather than tainted bloodline strengths.
    >
    > 6. I'm thinking of an encounter with Dwynaa the Bose, the alchemist
    > described in Blood Enemies, but I haven't decided if she will be friend
    > or foe. (I'm leaning towards foe.)

    My suggestion is that she be completely neutral. Decide what her goals
    are, and set out criteria which would allow the PC's to get on her bad
    side, as well as on her good side. Another approach would be to get them
    into her debt: have her rescue them when they are surrounded by
    poisonous, scaly things, but make them PAY their debt to her. (I.e. now
    they need to get a reagent for Aelies AND one for Dwynaa.)

  7. #7
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    Thanks for the input, Mark. Very good points. I have a couple comments on
    your comments:

    Mark A Vandermeulen wrote:

    > My advice: They shouldn't run into him unless they are captured by the
    > Hydrakin. Unless they are especially seeking him (them?) the Hydra should
    > remain a shadowy character of extreme menace.

    That's a good way of handling it. If they do get captured or something I'll
    have that threat to hold over their heads.

    > Also: always remember that
    > the picture in the Blood Emenies book is only an artist's rendering: the
    > real hydra is probably much more scary and spooky than that.

    Think so? That picture scares the crap out of me....

    > I had a paleontology course once with a paleontologist who studied the
    > evolution of crocodiles. I remember clearly that after the dinosaurs were
    > killed at the end of the cretaceous, there was a wonderful radiation of
    > crocodilians, which included some that were about as large as modern crocs
    > but had long legs. Imagine being chased by a spiky-teethed croc WHO CAN
    > RUN AS FAST AS A CHEETA. Or perhaps half-sized crocs who can climb trees
    > and drop down en mass on unsuspecting travellers. Keep them guessing,
    > that's my motto. So go for the poisonous things, but don't forget all of
    > the fun things you can do with crocs, too.

    That's very interesting. I think I can pull something off with that. Given
    the mutations brought about by the Hydra there could potentially be poisonous
    snake headed, long legged, fifteen foot long crocodiles running around....
    I'll definately keep this in mind.

    > My suggestion is that she be completely neutral. Decide what her goals
    > are, and set out criteria which would allow the PC's to get on her bad
    > side, as well as on her good side. Another approach would be to get them
    > into her debt: have her rescue them when they are surrounded by
    > poisonous, scaly things, but make them PAY their debt to her. (I.e. now
    > they need to get a reagent for Aelies AND one for Dwynaa.)

    Yeah, I'm starting to lean towards making her more neutral. There are plenty
    of beasties for the players to oppose without throwing a necromancer or
    something at them. I'm thinking right now that the players will have to get
    info from Dwynaa and must perform some sort of deed to get it.

    Thanks again!

    Gary

  8. #8
    Pieter A de Jong
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    All right Gary, my suggestion is simple. Get Them Lost. The swamp
    itself can be a very dangerous foe. Bad water (remember the disease
    tables in the (1st edition) DMG), insects, lack of provisions & spell
    components for mages and priests. I doubt the characters (not the
    players) have much experience with travelling in marshes. If they get
    lost for 3 months, real trouble could erupt on the domain front
    (invasions, rebellions, the heir deciding that they are dead/permanently
    incommunicado and taking over, etc.). As in be fair about the monsters
    they encounter, just make them pay for their bloodline increase by
    screwing their domains over while they are away.

    Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >
    > So one of the players in my campaign was reading the Blood Enemies entry
    > regarding the Hydra the other day. He got to the end of the text and
    > found the information on the Caracdir, and decided that a pretty good
    > way to raise his own bloodline was to commit bloodtheft on a few of
    > them. Since their bloodlines are tainted, the possibility of having his
    > own bloodline corrupted is fairly unlikely.
    >
    > The players have asked me to come up with an adventure for them in the
    > Harrowmarsh. They don't want to make hunting Caracdir the main focus of
    > it, but do want to have the opportunity to run into a few of them, and
    > possibly raise their bloodlines a bit.
    >
    > Now, I've already decided to make this adventure unpleasant as all hell
    > for the PCs, but I thought I'd run it by the folks out there to see if
    > they had any ideas on how I could make the Harrowmarsh live up to its
    > name. I'm currently thinking I will have the High Mage Aelies send them
    > off to the Harrowmarsh to collect some reagent or other for him. At
    > that point, anything can happen.
    >
    > My current thoughts are:
    >
    > 1. The Hydra. I could have this beastie attack the party, but I'm a bit
    > leery to do that. He could possibly kill everyone in the party, and I
    > don't really want to wipe them out.
    >
    > 2. The Caracdir. I'm thinking of making these guys relatively peaceful
    > and nice. That will pretty much scrag the players plot to raise their
    > bloodlines by killing them.
    >
    > 3. Poisonous creatures. Poison is one of those things that players seem
    > to genuinely fear. It's one of the few things out there that can kill
    > quickly and instantly, which means putting a few creatures with deadly
    > poison might set the tone properly for the adventure.
    >
    > 4. Fighting in swamps. I'm going to rule that dexterity bonuses are
    > pretty much gone when fighting in the swamps. Does a -1 to hit sound
    > reasonable for PCs fighting knee deep in the swamp?
    >
    > 5. Hydrakin. I'm going to make the spawn of the Hydra the real
    > opponents of the adventure. If the players want to raise their
    > bloodline, let them risk it against creatures with 8+4HD rather than
    > 3+3HD (which is what the Caracdir have.) Plus, I think they should take
    > their chances with losing their own bloodlines against a creature with
    > minor rather than tainted bloodline strengths.
    >
    > 6. I'm thinking of an encounter with Dwynaa the Bose, the alchemist
    > described in Blood Enemies, but I haven't decided if she will be friend
    > or foe. (I'm leaning towards foe.)
    >
    > Anybody else have any ideas?
    >
    > Gary
    >
    > ************************************************** *************************
    > > - --

    Pieter A de Jong
    Graduate Mechanical Engineering Student
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

  9. #9
    Kenneth Gauck
    Guest

    The Harrowmarsh

    In my pervious post I forgot about the Binman. He's ID'd in the Blood
    Enemies. He's a decent blooded enemy to face for your players. Plus his
    creation can be used to develope stories in the Chimaeron.

    At 10:06 AM 10/16/98 -0400, Mark A Vandermeulen wrote:
    >
    >> 6. I'm thinking of an encounter with Dwynaa the Bose, the alchemist
    >> described in Blood Enemies, but I haven't decided if she will be friend
    >> or foe. (I'm leaning towards foe.)
    >
    >My suggestion is that she be completely neutral. Decide what her goals
    >are, and set out criteria which would allow the PC's to get on her bad
    >side, as well as on her good side. Another approach would be to get them
    >into her debt: have her rescue them when they are surrounded by
    >poisonous, scaly things, but make them PAY their debt to her. (I.e. now
    >they need to get a reagent for Aelies AND one for Dwynaa.)

    Keep the long term uses of Dwynaa the Bose in mind too. Devlope her long
    term goals, and you can use this NPC several times, perhaps latter at the
    main element of an adventure. So I would recomend keeping this figure
    ambiguous for the time being. As for being helpful or not, refer to the
    long term goals you devise. Dwynaa may be looking for the reagent, and so
    will help the players if they get her some too. OR, she might be involved
    in a longer contest with the High Mage, and might be here to prevent his
    aquisition of the reagent. In any event, this is probably an NPC worth
    keeping around for a few adventures.

    Imagine this:
    Players visit Harrowmarsh for Aelies, encounter Dwynaa.
    two game years later players attempt to determine if the Heartland
    Outfitters is connected in the assasination of Rogr Aglondier, and it turns
    out that Dwynaa the Bose is connected with several members of the Merchant's
    Counsil. It turns out that alchemists and mages are supporting a vast plot
    to lay the Outfitters rivals low.
    Possibly after a diversion adventure, the Players attempt to fight the
    "final" battle against Dwynna.

    If you keep old ideas alive, while producing new ideas, you can present your
    players with lots of choices, and sometimes force them to choose between them.

    In Baruk-Azik, I had the perennial Orog threat, and I invented a cult
    problem for the dwarves based on Diirinka, patron of the Derro. There was
    also the Gorgon's activities in Kiergard and elsewhere to monitor. When the
    players attended to one, they were not attending to the other. Problems
    that were ignored for two long launched their own offensives. When you add
    to all this the fact that Baruk-Azik supported the opposition in Oserode,
    got involved in the civil war in Rohrmark, and the Overthane adventured for
    his own purposes, the dwarves had their hands full. The players, however,
    felt that they were in control (despite having irons in so many fires)
    because they could choose what they were doing.
    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@earthlink.net

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