I’ve had two sessions since I wrote my last column, thanks to the scheduling snafu that is Gen Con. This past Saturday night my father-in-law joined us for his first-ever experience with D&D. He was bewildered, mystified, and up way past his east-coast bedtime, but I think he had fun, and I know that the group appreciated his participation.
Let’s see: Last time I wrote about planting some kind of mystery in the heart of the Fire Warren. I ended up putting a stone arrowhead in the kobold leader’s pouch, carved with the jagged spiral symbol of Tharizdun. With it, I gave them a quest to discover “what the symbol is all about,” which has proven to be an endless source of comedy, for reasons I can’t quite understand. They’ve discovered that it’s the symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye, but I haven’t given them the quest XP for figuring out “what it’s all about” yet. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for, but I know it has to be more dramatic than the druid NPC exclaiming and dropping the arrowhead when she saw the symbol.
Also in my last column, I tried to sort out the ramifications of naming the fire elemental (the primordial of fire who turned to the gods’ side in the Dawn War) Imix. It occurred to me afterward that Tharizdun’s corruption of the Princes of Elemental Evil might not have happened yet. It might be that, in my campaign, Tharizdun is not yet the Chained God—or perhaps he’s working from within his extradimensional prison to corrupt these primordials to be his servants. He’s working on Ogremoch, who’s imprisoned somewhere in the Elemental Chaos, but really setting his sights high on Imix, one of the four most powerful primordials in existence. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.
The shipwrecked characters have now found their way off the island they originally landed on and made their way to Haven—well, near Haven. It turns out that Haven has been taken over by a band of evil mercenaries . . . but I’m not going to get too much into that, because I’m drawing material and plotlines from an adventure that is not yet published. Don’t want to spoil it for you.
So, yeah, I’m using someone else’s adventure. What happened to my free-form, quest-driven, open-ended campaign? Actually, really interesting things, I think.
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About the Author
James Wyatt is the Creative Manager for D&D R&D at Wizards of the Coast. He was one of the lead designers for 4th Edition D&D and the primary author of the 4th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. He also contributed to the Eberron Campaign Setting and is the author of several DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® novels set in the world of Eberron.