Excerpts Archive | 5/30/2013
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Against the Slave Lords Excerpts: A2
Secret of the Slavers Stockade

Our goal was to provide a model for a new type of adventure that encouraged DMs to use strategy to challenge the players to think. Up to this point, adventures presented monsters that attacked and fought to the death. We wanted to show that even weak monsters could be dangerous when played intelligently. Thus, we established the following design goals:

  1. As the heroes rose in level, we would make the monsters weaker (orcs to goblins to kobolds).
  2. Challenges would be created to test the ability of the players to think and use teamwork.
  3. The DM should encourage the players to be creative and develop their own solutions to the obstacles they faced; no longer would the DM’s solution be the only acceptable one!.

So writes Harold Johnson in the new foreword to A2: Secret of the Slavers Stockade. While the original adventure appeared as part of Gen Con XIII's Open Tournament, it returns with June's Against the Slave Lords compilation.

In today's preview, we look at the background to Secret of the Slavers Stockade (including notes for the Dungeon Master, hill fort stratgey -- and a brief description of the leaders, including Icar, the blind commander!):


The coastal lands of the Sea of Gearnat have long been raided by the ruthless Slave Lords, traders in human misery. After years of argument, the sovereigns of the area finally decided to take action against them. A band of fearless adventurers was gathered and sent to investigate the slavers’ base in the decayed city of Highport (A1: Slave Pits of the Undercity).

The slavers were discovered to be operating out of a ruined temple dedicated to the orcish god Gruumsh. After defeating the orcs, the implacable adventurers discovered a secret trap door leading to the sewers beneath the temple. There they found the dreaded Slave Pits, guarded not only by orcs and ogres but also by creatures more foul, including the horrible insect-men. After all these were beaten, the adventurers encountered and defeated one of the Slave Lords managing the operation in Highport. As a result of their victory, the party obtained records of slaver activities and a map of their caravan route...

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