Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sandbox Locations Part IV


This page will likely be updated or amended regularly as I develop the campaign. I like to have about a dozen major plot threads for the characters to stumble across. Generally, I use so many because you never know which ones the players will bite on. At the moment, I have major threads revolving around Trobridge Inn politics, Gwadira, the Missing Earl and Star-Crossed lovers (I'll write a post about these plot threads later). These location entires will change as I get round to adding more.

Note to Players: This next post is full of spoilers which will potentially ruin your game experience. Silv, I'm particularly looking at you here. I know how much you love to know what's coming next, to heighten your anticipation. Read this if you wish, but bare in mind you'll get more enjoyment out of this game if you don't know what's coming to you. If you do read this and plan on playing, please keep the information to yourselves.

1: TROBRIDGE INN Level 1-10

The PC's home and campaign starting point. I'll be using the adventure that comes with the Trobridge Inn source book very early on in the campaign. In fact, I'll be using it as the first “Campaign Event”. The Inn itself will also be the starting point for many other Campaign Events, including the scenario from the Evael: Kingdom of the Elves book (which will start the “Star-Crossed Lovers” thread). As the only permanent settlement in the Chelni Gap it will also be the location where characters are approached by patrons seeking their services in the early part of the campaign.


Depending on the character's relationship with the local Brigand, the characters might never explore this site, which lies beneath their very feet. Ondailis won't be pleased if the characters kill his men to gain access to the catacombs where he hides his treasure and even less pleased if they stir up the things that lurk below. However, the first campaign event might afford PC's the chance to explore the tower with the Brigands blessing, provided they play a very clever game.

I'll use the Dungeon in B-1 In Search of the Unknown (with some modifications) for the catacombs.

3: THE RUINED FORT. Level 1-3

I've been toying with the idea of using Horror on the Hill, but I'd much rather create my own small (one level and upper works) dungeon from scratch. Regardless of whether the PCs explore here of their own volition or because of Campaign Even 1 it will very likely be one of the first adventure/dungeon sites they visit.


Another location I'll be designing myself. This barrow is going to be an absolute den of undead. Alas, being so far away from Trobridge, it might never be explored by the party unless they escort a caravan to Taztos. Another one level dungeon.

5: KOREGO Level 3-10

Oh boy, what plans for this place. Gwadira has the Gargun King well and truly under her thumb and is well on her way to creating an alliance of Gargun tribes that has not been seen since Lothrim. An early campaign event adapted from the Orcs of Harn supplement will lead the characters to investigate this site eventually (should they bite). If not, so much the better (for them at least). This will be a very deadly site for low level characters to explore, and a huge challenge even at mid to high levels. I plan on using the maps for Korego from Orcs of Harn, but I'll also be using StoneHell dungeon to expand the site considerably.

6: ANISHALevel 1-4

I'll be using the maps from Kingdom of Kaldor. However, I plan on expanding the dungeon site with some maps from the Greyhawk Ruins set.

7: ELKALL-ANUZ Level 1-10

Greyhawk Grognard's Dungeon Module 13 Castle of the Mad Archmage (download it here) will the basis for this, the campaigns main mega-dungeon. The module itself doesn't provide any sort of upper works and leaves the first dungeon level for the GM to design. However, I'll be using the Korego maps from Trobridge Inn to represent both the Upper Works and the First Level of the Dungeon. Which suits me fine. The great thing about Harn maps is that they give you the rooms and (for the most part) leave you to populate them. I'm really looking forward to filling the Korgo rooms, almost as much as I'm looking forward to creating my own dungeons.

I'll also be creating a number of small 1-3 room dungeons to represent the various ruins, cairns and barrows in the surrounding “Plain of Towers”.

8: PESINO Level 4-7

Again, Pesino maps are provided in a supplement, this time Evael: Kingdom of the Elves. However, I want to build on the legend of a “faerie court” beneath the ruins as described in the HarnPlayer supplement. So again, another opportunity to populate dungeon rooms as a I wish and add a few more levels of my own.

9: TASHAL Level 1-10

An ideal spot for the characters to sell off low level magical items and other treasures. Also a good spot to drop hints about the coming Succession Crisis (for the planned move to a political/military campaign at name level). Also a good setting for a few side-trek adventures.

10: TAZTOS Level 1-10

An out of the way spot. I don't imagine it will feature much in the campaign but one can never be sure with any players. Even so, it will likely only be used as a very occasional base camp for forays into the most western locations and a place to dispose of bulky treasure items.

11: DWEOMERDEEP Level 4-6

I'll be using a commercially available map for Dweomerdeep, but populating it myself. Still have to find the right map though. Depending on time constraints I might just cheat and use the castle dungeon from Haunted Hill with a few Harn-Centric modifications.


I had a module all picked out for this, now I can't remember which one it was. Dangnabbit!

AHA1 Just remembered. Here be “Idol of the Orcs” from Goblinoid Games.


B3 Palace of the Silver Princess. The main difference being that the Palace was sacked by Atani, and not by a single man on dragon-back. I haven't yet decided if this will be located on the Plain of Towers, the outskirts of the Shava Forest or even somewhere in Pesino.

14: BALDHILL level 1-2

Bald-hill was my “go-to” location for any small dungeons I want to insert into the Sandbox. Being riddles with tunnels makes it an ideal seat for caves, barrows, tombs and so forth. THEN I remembered the Plain of Towers around Elkall_Anuz. So, honestly, I don't really need it any-more. However, I think I will use this for the location of the brigand camp from J1 The Jade Hare. A nice, easy, beginners level dungeon. Another alternative site for the party;s first adventure (the others being the Watch Tower Catacombs and the Ruined Fort).


Another possible site for the location of the Questing Earl. Obviously, this is going to be the Ghost Tower of Inverness module (shame on you if you hadn't realised). I don't really see the need for many changes to be made, though this may change when I re-read the module.

16: THE BARROW CAVES Level 1-3

These came about because I was beginning to notice a scarcity of adventure locations on the western part of the board. So, for the sake of fairness, I'll be using the most excellent Caves of Chaos from B2 Keep on the Borderlands for the Barrow Caves, replacing the Chaos Temple with a hidden Temple of Morgath and replacing the Keep with Taztos.


I'll be using the ruined castle dungeon from L1 The Secret of Bone Hill. By the way, Castle Restenford is an excellent Castle Map for those of you who want one. In my opinion, the town itself rivals the village of Hommet as a base for adventurers. Alas, neither will make an appearance in this campaign.


This is the headquarters (or one of them anyway) of Gwadira, the renegade Grey Mage who seeks to carve out an empire to rival Lothrims. Use pages 20+ from the module X5 Temple of Death, replacing all descriptions and stat blocks for “The Master” with those of Gwadira.

19: THE MIRROR STONE Level 5-10.

The Mirror Stone will be inactive until a certain campaign event (the Kidnapping of Lysa). Up until this point is will only show random glimpses of events elsewhere. Following the kidnapping, it will act as a portal to another world.

Use the “Through the Looking Glass” section of X-12, The Mirror of Skarda, replacing the kid-nap victim with Lysa. Also swop-out Skarda for Gwadira or one or her henchmen.

20: MOUNT SERTU Level 5-10

S-2 White Plume Mountain.

21: THE LINOR BOG Level 5-7

Uses the dungeon from I-2 Tomb of the Lizard King and use the various swamp wilderness locations as special “keyed” encounters in the swamp.


Uses the dungeon and swamp encounters from Baltron's Beacon 4-8


Tales of Enchantment GA3. Use the many keyed Wilderness encounters for encounters in the forest.

The missing Earl might be found here, perhaps as a prisoner of a Dryad?

24: LOST SHRINE OF ELIOS Level 8-10.

Uses RAHESIA B7. Why did the Clan Elios hide the shrine away? What dirty secrets (if any) does it contain? Did Elios accept the Shadow and become an Amorvrin?


S4 Lost Caverns of Tjocanth I'm considering using the modules mountain Wilderness Map should the players attempt to find the Caverns. I need to remember to re-dress the dungeon itself as a forge complex.

26: CRYSTAL CAVE Level 4-7.

I'll be using UK1 Beyond the Cystal Cave for this. If all goes well, the two lost lovers will be the characters from the Star-Crossed Lovers campaign plot. Also a possible location for finding the Questing Earl. In one article on the Kadlor Succession crisis in the excellent Thronahexus magazine (issue number 9) Edward Barach suggests that Sederis Maleken, the Questing Earl of Osel, might be gay. If so, it would explain his year long absence chasing after a murderer. Perhaps the murderer killed his lover? Or perhaps the “murderer” is his lover, and killed a man purely to protect his (and the Earl's) secret. If this is true, where better to find the Earl than here?


Will serve mostly as a location for the Star-Crossed Lovers plot and a place to buy and sell expensive items, pick up rumours about other adventure sites and so on. It might very well become the party's new base camp should the focus of play away from Trobridge.


Will perform a role similar to that of Elshavel. However, it's location and purpose makes it an excellent spot for some espionage-based adventure hooks.

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