Saturday, April 23, 2016

A to Z of Adventure! T is for Temple of Elemental Evil

T is for Temple of Elemental Evil.

Confession time.  I have never run or played through The Temple of Elemental Evil.
I think I was in the Village of Hommlet (T1) once, but that was back in the early, early days of the game.

Since then there have been three more updates and expansions to the T series.
I have read all of these. Recently I also read the novelization of the Temple of Elemental Evil and played part of the old Atari PC Game.  T1-4 also made the top 30 D&D adventures of all time.

So I have to admit I really want to run it now.  Though I want to tie it into my current D&D5 game.

Trouble is that the characters are now already 8th level and near the very end of the Slave Lords.  I didn't want to start with T1 because for me it was more important to start with B1 and B2.

So I have the T1-4 supermodule on PDF, but there is a lot going on that I am not a fan of.  Not that it isn't good, it is, but not what I need or want.  Plus I am no fan linking Zuggtmoy to the temple.  Her powers are not elemental in nature.  Plus I always liked the idea that some remnant of Tharizdun especially in the guise of the Elder Elemental Eye.  Maybe this is an elemental themed patron for a warlock.  The idea is of course to play into the larger "Come Endless Darkness" plot line.  So yes this evil is related to the larger evil. Which might be Tharizdun. At least that is what I have always considered over the years.  Turns out that +Joseph Bloch agrees with me.  I already did S4 and WG4, so I guess I am going in reverse.

As usual I have an embarrassment of riches. Too much material actually.

I found some 5e Conversion notes that look really nice. And I have a lot of choices when it comes to plots, ideas and adventures.  Of course I will use T1 The Village of Hommlet and likely a good portion of T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil.  Given my particular desire to make an easy job far more difficult I am also going to look at versions for other editions.
I read through most of those last night.  T1 is easy, T2 will be a bit more work.  I think I am going to steal a lot of ideas from Return and Princes of the Apocalypse.

While doing some research, I discovered this blog post that talked about T2 The Temple of Elemental Evil as promised  back before T1-4 came out.  It is a very interesting read to be honest. That is where the image to the right came from.

Here are some other posts I consider "must read" on my goal to build this gigantic conspiracy of evil.
To me "Expert" level (as listed on the T2 cover) is 4 to 14.   When I first had this idea I was going to go with a parallel group, now I think I just want to up the threats and have it after the Queen of the Demon-web pits.   Make it 14th to 20th level.

So it is settled.  Zuggtmoy is out. Tharizdûn is in.  What is his plan?
Simple. He wants out.  He has convinced all these different evil factions to blot out the sun and deliver the essences of gods to him they think they are going to obtain godhood, but in truth they will be freeing him.  Maybe each has a Shard of the Elder Elemental Eye.  Lolth has Air, Orcus has Earth, Dagon/Hydra has Water and someone else has fire.  I kinda want it to be Asmodeus, but that is a whole other issue really.

But I am leaving out the mindflayers.  Why Air for Lolth when she is underground?  Air represents what she has lost. Plus I like tying her to the Queen of Air and Darkness.

I know there are places I can put the Elemental Shard of Air in Q1.  I am sure I can find places in the D series for the Elemental Shard of Water.  That leaves Earth and Fire.

That's what I love about all these old adventures.  So much you can do with them.


Piper Presley said...

Sounds like fun!

Piper Presley
T is for Twitter: Blogging From A to Z

Andy Action said...

Running this classic now, campaign style, via Google Hangouts (we just had our 18th session) - also connecting this to the A0-4 Slaver's series. I have explored many of the links you have cited in this post and have reached many of the same conclusions as you have! I'm keeping Zuggtmoy imprisoned as written, using the premise that she used the Elemental Cults as a recruitment tool (more appealing than "fungi!"), but that the EEE/Tharizdun Aspect temple has seized control of the Temple factions during the power vacuum since her imprisonment. This gives the multiple competing factions (including the PCs!) a lot of room for exploration during game play. You're right - that's what's so great about these classic adventures - they can be used in so many myriad ways!

Fuzzy Skinner said...

Speaking of the PC game, do you have the original digest-sized boxed version? I didn't realize this when I bought it, but the instruction manual is essentially a pocket-sized, spiral bound Player's Handbook for 3.5e; the only things it lacks are the rules for grid combat and some longer spell descriptions, and the few changes they made for the sake of the PC game are listed in the back (along with a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies of the Gods). I'm not sure if you still play 3.5e, but if so then that manual would probably serve you well for character creation.

DOsgood said...

Actually, I prefer the A series before the T series. In the back story, the Temple was so powerful that it took several armies combined to bring it down. Even then, they could not destroy it, so they sealed it. I find it easy to power up the temple.
Why settle for simple bandits when you have elemental nodes to conjure from? Didn't those bandits join up because they were promised power and riches? Give the fire temple underlings flaming bombs. Water minions get something like fire hoses. Earth minions get potions of stoneskin. Air archers can levitate out of reach. Earth priests can travel through the walls. Add some fireplaces to keep the place warm and the fire priests can use the flue network. Not to mention tactics - hit and run, pincer movements.
You have to run away to recuperate? Ha! We have assassins to kidnap your happy derriere. Hommlet is a cold war zone with friendly smiling faces plastered on top. Separate the party and watch their smug faces fall.
Druids are neutral right? There could be a druid behind every tree putting in his 2 coppers worth to balance the fight.

Cyric said...

Did you check the Goodman Games site in the last days? You will love what you will find there in the News section.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I did! Preordered it already.