Prophecy and Players (or Adapting Modules to Fit my Game World)

Today is my one year anniversary since I began World Engineer.  I feel this is a good post for this date.  It speaks to the type of work I do for my game. So, please Read On!

While I’ve whined about being poor at running “canned adventures,” I’ve also built more than one setting around them.  My Pellham campaign is the most ambitious of the lot to date, but I’m discovering that it also the one requiring the most work in adapting it to Rhillmoran.  Because I encourage my Players to build parts the world, as they develop their PCs’ backgrounds, I am required to adjust and mold my designs.  These actions become compounded when I am adapting someone else’s material.  It has become increasing clear that I have much work to do on the “Prophecy of Llywelyn’s Return.

I left it open for Players to create PCs that were connected to the Brotherhood of Brie – the group in the module C4: To Find a King that first discovers “The Prophecy” and I kept alluding to the importance the Sovereign Council put upon “The Prophecy” in game, so I should have not been surprised when a Player placed his PC in Brie and began expounding upon the nature of “The Prophecy” and expanding upon its history.  Now, taking that into account and adding the facts that the PC is elven and could have been around during the reign of Alendus the Second and has been studying “The Prophecy” for two hundred years, leaves me with a lot of work to do, especially since I never found my original notes on my “corrections” to the “Prophecy of Brie” and I have game on Sunday, December 6, 2014.

Here is a copy of the Prophecy as it was presented in the module:

 

WITH SIX HANDS OF LORING THE

LOST UPON THE WHEEL OF TIME,

AT THE MOMENT BAZEL MOUNTS

HIS CHARIOT TO DO BATTLE WITH

THE SEVEN DAUGHTERS, THE

DEAD KING SHALL RISE TO SEIZE

THE TRIAD WITH HANDS THAT

CONNOT GRASP AND EYES THAT

CANNOT SEE.  ALL WARDS BROKEN

AND THE MYSTIC BARRIERS

PIERCED WITH MATING SWORDS,

THREE SAINTS AND SINNERS WILL

STRUGGLE IN THE DUST, BOTH

AND NEITHER TO TRIUMPH, AND

WHILE THE SUNDERED EARTH

SPEWS FORTH THE DREGS OF CEN-

TURIES, A NEW ORDER SHALL

COME UPON THE LAND.

Here are my problems:  1) I don’t have the constellations BAZEL’S CHARIOT or the SEVEN DAUGHTERS in my game universe, 2) The DEAD KING doesn’t define which king, so how does the Brotherhood of Brie know that the Dead King Returning would be Llywelyn, 3) The verses about THREE SAINTS AND SINNERS are fulfilled in C5: Llywelyn’s Bane, but in such a heavy handed manner that it is offensive, and 4) The final stanzas are clearly connected to the THREE SAINTS AND SINNERS in The Prophecy, but they are not in the narrative.  Just as a side note, I don’t like the look of the Prophecy either; I acknowledge that it was done that way to fit into the typesetting for the module, but it just doesn’t work for me.

My planned corrections: 1) I haven’t mapped out my constellations, but I do have a wandering star that appears as a red point of light every 26 years.  I will create the legend of Bazel and the constellation Bazel’s Chariot.  The Seven Daughters change from stars to the three moons of Rhillmoran.  When the Red Star aligns with the Chariot of Bazel, it is called “Bazel mounting his Chariot;” it happens every 26 years.  Every 40 years Bazel’s Chariot crosses behind the three moons, when they are full, some call this “Bazel Battles the Sister’s Three.”  2) For this section. I will alter the information to better fit the idea that the Prophecy may be about Llywelyn.  3 and 4) These section requires me to delete the offending planned events and to rewrite the stanzas entirely.

So, I’ve rewritten it to fit my game.  Here is the Rhillmoric version of the Prophecy of Llywelyn’s Return

WITH SIX HANDS OF LORING THE LOST UPON THE WHEEL OF TIME,

AT THE MOMENT BAZEL MOUNTS HIS CHARIOT TO DO BATTLE WITH THE THREE SISTERS,

A JUST MONARCH SHALL AGAIN RISE FROM BEYOND.

WHEN MYSTIC BARRIERS PIERCED WITH THEIR MATING SWORDS AND WARDS ARE BROKEN,

RETURN TO THE BIRTH OF MEN,

FOR BOTH AND NEITHER TO TRIUMPH

SAINTS AND SINNERS WILL STRUGGLE THROUGH THE DUST,

AND WHEN THE SUNDERED EARTH SPEWS FORTH THE DREGS OF CENTURIES,

A NEW ORDER SHALL COME UPON THE LAND.

So what do you all think and how have you had to recreate module themes to fit your games?

Game On!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Prophecy and Players (or Adapting Modules to Fit my Game World)

  1. Congratulations on the anniversary!

    I like it. Prophecies are always a pain to use, even if they are a trope of the genre. I think I’ve kind of given up on them because my players seem (it has been awhile though) to feel railroaded by their very presence. I think if I had been better at writing/placing them as puzzles to be solved that let the players gain some sort of advantage or something like that I would have had more success with them. Over time I simply used prophecy as part of the ways that I would give out expository material when the players needed it rather than as an integral part of the adventure.

    I’ve been retrofitting modules forever. I think my favorite examples of this is where I repurposed low level modules for high-level parties – without adjusting anything inside the module. Even in the “days of old” I rejected the idea of “CR Balance” and it was pretty regular for me to just lay out rumors without regard for party balance – it was the players job to determine if the rumor was within their ability to handle or investigate further.

    But some favorite re-purposings?

    B2 – Keep on the Borderlands – Last time I ran it I changed it to a relatively well-organized multi-racial bandit and warband encampment. Much more challenging, but the players rose to the occasion.

    C1 – Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan became a archeological dig for my Padawan campaign.

    Tegel Manor (the old Judges Guild adventure) was used in my Padawan Campaign as well, The players never went inside (I’m still not sure why, I think I scared them so much they didn’t they’d survive) and instead were caught up in the machinations of a local cult involved with the nearby village.

    I7 – Baltrons Beacon was a massive race against the minions of the Witch King to discover the source of Black Flame in the Witch King Campaign.

    Dark Tower (another old Judges Guild adventure) was actually the site of the fabled Font of Magic, sought out and fought over by the characters in the Witch King Campaign.

    C2 – Ghost Tower of Inverness – Used as a quest in the Witch King Campaign, the Soul Gem was retrieved and used in the Wars of Binding.

    The Arena of Khazan (for Tunnels and Trolls) is a reoccurring threat for PC’s – I’ve even had a couple of characters survive through it with amazingly good results.

    DL8 – Dragons of War – The maps of the High Clerist’s Tower and general setting were used during the Witch Campaign to represent the site of the Silver Flame (also a Font, evidently I had a things for fonts in the past), which the players had to find and re-ignite.

    Good luck! Sounds like the campaign is shaping up nicely!

    D.

    Like

  2. Pingback: An Epiphany of Time (or Does Gregory Know When the Prophecy Will be Fulfilled?) | World Engineer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s