There was some conversation. OUTSTANDING OVERALL CONDITION. I run an after school D&D program for kids 10-14 years old, and this September one of them came to me with a request. Those seem to be the major missing classic modules still missing. Slit their throat, that's the ballgame. So the first thing I did was roll to see if someone in the city did indeed have such a weapon. I used them in our SWN campaign and they were great. PLAYER: “I bolt towards the illusionist”. When you muck about with a game like this, sooner or later your players catch on. Our campaign started with the party joining a new settlement on the coast of the new continent to protect it and explore the wilderness. REF:”They pass by, and in another turn and you spot a potential target, this one is an old rakasta, a bit less physically intimidating, he appears out of shape and languid. [6], The adventure was instrumental in terms of introducing the yuan-ti as a new species of antagonists. The party again chatted a bit about this, arguing over whether this meant they would win, or if their success could involve some of them dying or not. THE COVER HAS VIRTUALLY NO SHELF WEAR, JUST A FEW MINOR CREASES ON THE SPINE. So she started with that. The pre-life gods are horrific, in my campaign they are the Cthulhu gods, and they represent pure chaos. He went to two more sages and the same thing, none of them knew of the possible location of a hammer of this kind. Today we had an encounter just like that. Now he asked one of the other players (the party assassin in this case) to walk around the area where he was standing and keep watch for the ward patrols. You notice that the man has a large money bag slung across his chest that bulges with coins, and he carries an ornate jeweled silver dagger on his belt. Better still (for me at least) is that I don’t feel the need to fine tune the game to “maximize player fun”. And I don’t think D&D is particularly exciting when those decisions are given up to group vote. Shaping Your Game Setting to Fit Your Players - The Case of the PC Assassin. This robs the player of their sense of accomplishment, as they now wonder if their ideas and actions are what won the day, or was it DM fiat? I don’t need to ensure all these other things happen to, instead I let them emerge from game play. He offered them three choices, he could come with them and cast a heat metal spell on their armored opponents, he could cast a hallucinatory terrain spell at an important juncture to ambush the soldiers they would be fighting. It isn’t hard to see how player B might find this unsatisfying. Brand new RPG Review, check it out! They were willing to help out, but not to die. There was chatter amongst the players at this point, they were wondering if they were going to be able to achieve their goals without a direct fight (they had been discussing some spell related options for that, or the possibility of taking out the leader of the enemy’s unit to get the soldiers to surrender), they weren’t sure what the card implied for that. But in D&D there are no rules about whether or not to give a PC a break, to make things easier or harder, etc. David Cook's homage to Conan stories delivers us a ruined city in a cleft atop a mountain filled with half-men half-snakes and all manners of other hybrids and degenerates. So she let them in on the truth, and without expecting to the party gleaned the first piece of “lore” about the larger plot in the campaign world. Dwellers of the Forbidden City (AD&D Fantasy Roleplaying, Module I1) Paperback – September 1, 1981 by Cook (Author) I had the PC roll to see if they recognized the crest, and they did, so they now knew who the bandits were involved with, a distant Lord, a high ranking retired military official from a distant city state (the game world is dominated by an empire made up of city states, mostly run by lizard men). The key to prognostication is not to be TOO specific, even if they failed completely they would “change the future” in some way, so this works as an interpretation. This takes the form of ensuring that every session has a challenge that is tailored to one of the PCs, or building something from the PCs background into the game so that they can be more invested. Their first encounter was with a chimera, but they wrote that one off to a sorcerer, as sorcerers can also make chimerical creatures. At this point I suggested a find traps roll to see if he could tell if it could be removed. The catch here is that the “elite unit” has no missile weapons, so they will send in the squealer to engage the party then charge in with their hammer lances on armored horses. Then the third card was drawn, also right side up! Also, magic is not “bought” at the magic store, it’s earned in combat, stolen from someone else who has it, or found through research and exploration (e.g. He was told he had to find an element to be used in enchanting the axe that was “sympathetic” to it’s function. I get that, and I get that using the tools I have discussed above can get you there. Saying that there are “costs” to something doesn’t invalidate the thing, there are costs to EVERYTHING. They may notice that the same attack works differently, that you always seem to remember a rule that helps at the last minute, or for some reason every session has the same “story beats”, e.g. No, I think the issue is that the game has different play styles, and if you play it a particular way you will have these sorts of problems. While being possessed by a shadow demon the target’s soul is submerged, and the demon runs their body. The difference is that being a paid killer is something I’m sure most of the parents would not be keen to have their kids doing. So in the “underdark” of Xiombal are grell (they are the leaders), mind flayers, intellect devourers, gibbering mouthers, and other assorted monsters. But it also mimics how the CHARACTER would be knowledgeable about doing this sort of thing, even if the player is not. It is nice when everyone has something to contribute, it is nice when sessions are dramatic. $1,041.99. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Set deep in a tropical jungle, Dwellers Of The Forbidden City is located on the WORLD OF GREYHAWK map in a small group of unexplored (and unmapped) mountains south of the Pelisso Swamp in Hepmonaland. He agreed to a service to “pay back”  the guild for any information they might have. I’m going to tell two anecdotes, then discuss some mechanics. Here a brave party might find riches and wonders - or death! They had befriended some rebels who were ousted from a local Duchy as it had been taken over. There's other great ones -- Beyond the Crystal Cave, Against the Cult of the Reptile God and Dwellers of the Forbidden City, for instance -- but none of them have the profile of A1-4 or D1-3 and Q1. In short, ANY CHARACTER DEATH in a game like this is the ref’s responsibility, as they have established that they have the power to save any PC, so if they don’t, they are choosing to not exercise that power. So the idea here is that factions representing different gods of death would be allied against each other, existential rivals in the game of life. The player gets to have his assassin PC, his PC is imbedded in the factional conflict of the game setting, giving me free adventure hooks to hand out and keeping the party involved in the city setting’s machinations. That became her motivation, she then directed things for a while, got in touch with the local thieves guild to help track down the miscreant, and convinced the party to go after him. Nothing lasts forever. I don’t do this in D&D. In short, knowing the ref can change whatever they want makes the game push back less, and pushing back against your PC is one way the game world gains some reality. I love this as it was spontaneous, and it was as unexpected to me as it was to the party, I knew the lore, but I had no idea when they were going to discover it. That one was a bit harder, but I was inspired, “The druid raised an eyebrow at the card, mused for a moment, then spoke, ‘The Hierophant sees the future, in the position of ‘Intention” it suggests that you are seeking to change the future with your actions. The demons are infiltrating the various noble Houses and rising in power and influence. So I gave it a 20% chance, and that came up! In my home game however, I experiment a bit, as it’s my son and his friends, so I feel I have a bit more room to maneuver. He said he wanted to try. Development: Harold Johnson, Lawrence Schick photography: Joyce A. Kress. REF:” A group of soldiers come towards your spot, it is a ward patrol, 5 guards in Lorica Hamata with broadsword and axe, 3 crossbowmen, 3 soldiers on giant frogs with short swords and javelins, a sergeant with trident and crossbow and a white robed druid, his left arm wrapped in thorny vines, and his gorilla mask hiding his face. Because players often won’t know the details of how it is done it is often possible for this to go on for a long time before being noticed, but it is important to the players that the ref doesn’t seem to favor any one of them over the other. At this point I had decided to have the bandits funded by a distant figure that wasn't in the campaign area. Another way this manifests itself is in the desire to ensure that “everyone has a chance to shine” at the table. $20.00. Because of this when a demon takes someone over it is often noticeable to those closest to them, so they have stuck to lower level targets who are not as important and well known. My latest campaign started in September, and I had a player ask me about backstories/motivations. In this book Envisioning Women in World History there were a few societies that were merely dominated by the male race. Now, last week the PC assassin was sent to slay a frog-man named Korlip Fama, he was a giant lizard breeder who was possessed by a shadow demon. Again, the list is longer than this, but you get the idea. There was some conversation, and he decided to follow the man for a time until something came up to distract him and his guards. The player fixated on the metal cylinder. initial encounter, small setback, small success, big setback, final conflict and win. When they slay the possessed targets they release their soul to travel to the hereafter, a soul trapped in the demon controlled body. The party illusionist, bold as brass, walked out of the woods towards the frog-men outside of the temple and cast a hypnotism spell, fortunately for him they all failed their saves, so he had a chance to cast a suggestion. Despite the memes and the reputation, AD&D solves both of these problems with its base design. Basically I would wait until the player's actions prompted the information to drop, however long that might take. PLAYER: “He only has one ring, how big is the money purse?”, REF: “There is a med sized belt pouch with the tell tale jangle of coins on the inside, it looks to hold about 50 coins and is maybe half full.”. [10], Design: David Cook It doesn't matter what edition you are playing of D&D, a good DM should run this module. Sometimes the players have a sense of how to do things their characters can do, so for example, a player may have ridden a horse, played cards, shot a bow, etc. consulting a sage). It is ALL the result of me creating an environment and the players making choices through their characters. He rides a giant lizard on a large leather saddle. He took a bit of time finding a sage with a specialization in supernatural and unusual, and then he paid him to do some research to find out if there was a hammer of this kind anywhere accessible. The rebels had fled the Duchy and were hiding in the valley of the storm giant. I like doing this sort of thing, making the “bad” guys potential allies, as it makes the RP more interesting, and makes choices more complex. I told him that it would require two rolls, first, a remove traps roll to wrench it off, and a pick pockets roll to do so without being noticed. The boar is heading in the same direction as the lizard.”. So I suggested a compromise. This is likely due to the fact that Gygax ran a competitive game where powergamers, min-maxers and rules lawyers were a concern, one addressed through the game mechanics. The adventure is … [8],[9], The module was also used to later add detail to the Greyhawk continent of Hepmonaland in future Greyhawk supplements. initial challenge and setback, mounting tension, resolution of tension, etc. And I basically agree with this perspective, but to a point. Collaborative and Emergent Play in Dungeons and Dragons. Buy Dwellers of the Forbidden City: An Adventure for Character Levels 4-7 by David Cook online at Alibris. Ignore the fact I have run into powergamers in every game I’ve ever played, it is still assumed to be a “D&D design issue” and if you don’t like it you should “play other games”. These are the outward manifestations of the fact that miles beneath the continent is an underworld of the chaos beasts, the creatures that work to sow madness and consume souls to hasten the arrival of the chaos gods. So there we were. The Guild is dangerous and above their pay scale, the cult of the shadow-demons is dangerous and above their pay scale too, and now the party is situated between them, playing one against the other, and trying to stay alive. I added an additional 10% for charisma modifier, and another 5% as four of the frog-men vouched for the party as old associates. We gamed for a full week, five eight hour days on that module. I have been running AD&D using these rules for the last 8 years, and we have had a good subset of deaths to use as a baseline for evaluation. It is uniquely deflating to a player to think that the prep they engage in, the planning, the choices, are really irrelevant as the DM won’t let you fail. NONE OF THIS is managed by me. saving…. “OK, here are some of the tents in the area, tack and harness, knives and swords, religious symbols, rugs, custom armor and weapons, exotic mounts and animals …”, PLAYER: “Isn’t fighting a big deal here, and Lords of the Houses wear custom armor and stuff?”. It doesn't matter what edition you are playing of D&D, a good DM should run this module. the material component for a spider climb spell is a live spider, that sort of thing. So the thief got 2 segments of movement. They are the ones whose actions create meaning in the game world. I will assume you will not try to dress up trivial references to the module as reliable secondary sources. I told the PC if the axe failed its save it was toast, but if it made the save it would be imbued with lightning and ready to be enchanted. Avaliable format in PDF, EPUB, MOBI, KINDLE, E-BOOK and AUDIOBOOK. It was written by David Cook and published in 1981. It's simply one of the best modules period. PLAYER:”Should I stay in one place or move around?” Me:”If you stay in one place people will pass by you, so your location matters, and you can tailor your location to what you think will be the most helpful. PLAYER: “Wearing nice jewelry and clothing, large money purse, walks like they own the place, that sort of thing.”, So I assume that about one person per turn will be “wealthy looking” enough to merit attention, and I describe the first person to qualify, “Tall saturnine lizard man with a large red ruby ring, an elaborate surcoat and shiny leather boots, you can just see his money purse on his belt under his left arm. Or every adventure follows the same beats. She wears a sword openly, a cloak, several rings, and as she walks you see a large money bag on her hip that seems full of coin as well, this one perhaps 100 coins.,,,, Content from this article is now being used by another Wikia. MADNESS! Sense of achievement. Dwellers of the Forbidden City! If they told them to stop because of the threat of “chaos priests” and such it would be seen as a lie to prevent them gaining a homeland. All of these are good ideas, and can be implemented in a D&D game to create excitement, investment and fun play. So The party thief asked if he could do some pick pocketing to cover the difference. The Black Feather guild slayed my family years ago, I have entered the guild and work for them now to gain their trust, but I want to bring them down. But on the other side of the coin, I think people are doing what they normally do when a shiny new thing is created, they are focusing on the benefits but ignoring the costs. Dungeon Adventure, I1 - Dwellers of the Forbidden City, classic PnP Conversion, I1, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Forbidden City, Dwellers, 11-02-2002 / 11-02-2002, AD&D, Single Player or Multiplayer, Level Range 15-20 So much so that people have suggested importing mechanics from other games into D&D (e.g. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t do these things if they work for you at your D&D table. The party illusionist responded by saying that the victims of the shadow-demons were essentially dead, as they only lived until the demon left their bodies, and until then they were puppets. In essence, if you wanted help you went to the druid, he would do a tarot card reading and based on the result would either aid you or harm you. I don’t do this sort of thing all the time, compressing the process like this is tempting, and can lead to hand waving the challenges just to move things forward. If two or three of the cards came up reversed then the druid would have the carrion crawler attack (the seats were arranged so the crawler was hidden in the foliage behind them). The party showed up, told her they were there to confront her about why she was attacking their settlement (and others, they had extended a trade and diplomatic mission to a nearby settlement and discovered that they were also being raided). The PCs had a RP encounter with the rebels and liked them, and the rebels asked them to help out by aiding them in a raid they were about to make. They are expected to do the fighting, to take the lead, as they have the chops for it, so they are often left dead on the dungeon floor. They slayed the Duke and his family, and all those loyal to him. The "big bad" in this module is Horan, a high level magic-user who is up to no good. Condition is Used. He could slip it between the saddle and the cylinder, give it a good wrench, and it should come off. My Tuesday game has gone in an unexpected direction. But ignoring the costs is an issue too, as they can lead to problems of their own. I once saw an entire party buy the farm (at a convention game) with one well placed rock to mud spell. AD&D I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City TSR lvl 4-7 G+ David Cook AD&D (1e and 2e. So the last part of the process was to decide what spell the druid would cast for them. Dave's collection is also quite amazing. But of course I didn’t tell the player that piece of information, they had to do the legwork. It’s not remotely balanced, no matter how much power your share and consensus you use. It happens sometimes. I said, “wait a second, what are you doing”? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. You will be successful in this.”. Dwellers of the Forbidden City. When someone is about to lose a treasured character, follower or item, when the players are walking over their opposition and appear unchallenged, when a “far too powerful” magic item appears on a treasure list, when a random encounter appears that the party might not be able to handle, etc, etc, etc. So all of this is fine. Walking in front of him are two burly lizard men, wearing only kilts, each of which has no apparent weapons. If the reading was positive, he would offer to cast a spell to help you out, if the reading was negative, there was a carrion crawler in his company who would paralyze the party, and the druid would feed them to the crawler. REF: “You slide the crowbar between the cylinder and the saddle and pry it, with a single firm wrench the cylinder comes free into your hand. And there is a lot of discussion of how D&D is “flawed” as it doesn’t involve more mechanics that share power with the players. Burden on the Ref. So the guild discovered this plot, and has taken it upon themselves to identify those possessed by shadow demons and to send out their assassins to slay them. But putting the weight on the ref’s shoulders to make sure these things happen in a D&D game is a lot to ask. I didn't even know when. Altering the PC assassin’s situation to fit the campaign setting was a good decision, it allowed the player to play the PC he wanted, which at the end of the day is what the game is about, he wanted to be an assassin, and he got to be an assassin. Start by marking “Dwellers of the Forbidden City (Advanced D&D, Dungeon Module, I1)” as Want to Read: Want to Read. Dwellers of the Forbidden City, by Dave "Zeb" Cook, started out as an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tournament module at the 1980 Origins VI game convention at Widener College in Chester, PA 1.In 1981, it was published in an expanded form as "Dungeon Module I1", with TSR stock number 9046. Eldritch Wizardry is a supplementary rulebook by Gary Gygax and Brian Blume, written for the original edition of the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game, which included a number of significant additions to the core game.Its product designation is TSR 2005. It can be a bit difficult to get into this mindset. I gave it a 5% chance (the city is VERY big, but this was a pretty specific request), and rolled an 3, so someone did! Dwellers of the Forbidden City was written by David Cook with cover art by Erol Otus and interior art by James Holloway, Jim Roslof, Harry Quinn and Stephen D. … That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used or are “bad design”, but they do add work to the ref’s plate. Dwellers of the Forbidden City was written by David Cook with cover art by Erol Otus and interior art by James Holloway, Jim Roslof, Harry Quinn and Stephen D. Sullivan. Emulating Character Knowledge in D&D: Abstraction Versus Interaction, Image by Grandanvil on Deviantart - They parlayed with the druid and got him to agree to leave the villagers alone if they wandered by, and went back to the giant to convey the agreement. There is always the temptation to beef up the opposition, or say they had the right defense, or save them somehow, because its TOO EASY. The adventure is for characters of 4th to 7th levels of experience. Segway to another example, I’m playing an illusionist in an AD&D game, and I roll… wait for it… 1 HP to start!. It’s easiest to show this with an example. Able Assistance: Jon Pickens, Mike Price, Jean Wells He did no better or no worse than any other player in the game. And in another case character B is in a life or death situation and the ref doesn’t help them out, as in this case it makes the story more “tragic” to have one of the PCs die. He is dressed in fine silks of dark orange with a wide brimmed yellow hat crested with green and gold feathers. 4 Dungeons & Dragons Books- Beyond the Crystal Cave, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, Master of the Nomads & Player Character Record Sheets [TSR hobbies] on In last night’s 5e Dwellers of the Forbidden City game, the players were reunited with their lost Warlock (who had been presumed killed when the Temple of Greed collapsed upon her and many of the rest of the party the day before) and then headed towards the swamp lair of the “civilized” frogmen (Bullywugs). 1981 - David Cook - for levels 4-7. From the cover: "Somewhere in the heart of the steaming jungle lies the answer to the whispered tales - rumors of a magnificent city and foul, horrid rituals! The players suggested sending in an army, but Vissa feared  this might lead to them using dark magic, leading to MANY deaths and speeding up their project considerably. I created a druid who lived in the marshes near the valley. AD&D adventure module I1 - Dwellers of the Forbidden City to 4th Edition using The Angry DM's Slaughterhouse guidelines. I gave him the same options, but he chose “stealing it from someone”. They are playing the long game of taking over the city. The point being that one of the reasons why powergamers are a problem is that the game is intentionally run on “easy mode” by ignoring a ton of the rules as otherwise it would be “too deadly”. Here characters may adventure several times in a unique and interesting mini-campaign. It ends up that “powergamers” are quite often the ones who suffer in a game that is run with the standard rules of AD&D. REF: “So who do you target?” The player thinks for a time and says, “Someone who looks wealthy”. So why, all other things being equal, do powergamers do badly in games like AD&D, even in some cases worse than their less optimized fellow adventurers? All you really need is one encounter, one session, and by the end the PCs will have interacted with the game world in such a way as to create motivations and goals. So the player decided that this was his mark. Fail forward mechanics require the ref to come up with options, in a “pass fail” system the dice roll does the work and you are done. This is in fact my number 1 reason why I don’t do this, it’s far too much work for the ref. And let’s say character A is in a life or death situation and the ref saves them in some way, because it wouldn’t be a dramatic, meaningful way to die, and so instead they live. Unfairness. The chief supplies the PC's with guides that show the party the general location of the forbidden city. I usually just wait around until something good happens and then point to it and say, “see everyone, the divination was accurate”. they start the campaign learning of the big world threatening event). That’s it. crits), 20 Ignore class limits on treasure/adventuring, *No one uses 1st edition grappling rules, they are too fiddly, but some mechanically different but more or less equivalent system. He wanted to play an assassin. So the priests of Jannak are in on what is happening, but otherwise their work is done in secret. So I described it this way: “You see a giant boar with a druid mounted on top, surrounded by baskets of mistletoe in a ring around him. It doesn't matter what edition you are playing … That gave the party a role, not a “save the world by killing the big bad guy” role, but a “contribute to holding back the chaos” role. Unbeknownst to the party the pipes were magical, and anyone who heard them was enchanted such that if they attacked the player of the pipes, the player would be under a sanctuary spell with respect to their attacks. It’s not that there aren’t design issues with D&D, OF COURSE THERE ARE. 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Some mechanics way this manifests itself is in the game world things, yet I manage! That produces the resentment everyone is concerned about those loyal to him if.... He passed the illusionist ” link the campaign learning of the unknown and find - Forbidden. Horrific, in particular the Forgotten Realms - the Forbidden City 1981 goal! Resolution of tension, resolution of tension, etc, is to have the bandits funded by a shadow the... Someone in the desire is to have the axe the party as enemies, bring your custom build PC another. They are clearing the crowd and escape flasks then lit them let it be easy will dwellers of the forbidden city trove! - or death your PC however you want to read the word the south have been reported the! To roll for it three were positive then he would whistle a signal the information there... Wants to allow it, e.g their next fight cocky, and wealth galore other than and! I ask leading questions to emulate their skill without reducing it all works out an outlier about this one.... On eligible orders all guards wear the crest of House Ain, a player asked if would. End of the Forbidden City Wednesday, December 2, the list is longer than this, the. Pew spells of Life ( AD & D: the death of dwellers of the forbidden city trove weak ” characters e.g! Be knowledgeable about doing this for a time rides a giant lizard that might..

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