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Saltmarsh secrets..... changing and adding more Greyhawk and Cthulhu-cultist

Kevin Perrine

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Saltmarsh secrets..... changing and adding more Greyhawk and Cthulhu-cultist mythos factions

Starting up the Ghosts adventures.... a new campaign.
I am considering bringing in the Slave Lords (the Nine) as I'm playing in the classic Greyhawk setting.

My thought is to introduce 1-2 of the Lords as the "secret" leaders of the Saltmarsh smugglers that are based out of the Haunted House. Who may or may not know they're all working in conjunction with the Scarlet Brotherhood and the Empire of Iuz as well (though seperate contracts).

So I was thinking of having Ned be a Slave Lord agent who's learned of the Brotherhood involvement, and maybe doesnt like it!

I am trying to wrap my head around a cool surprising deal-mess that makes sense on what all these factions are doing with the Lizardfolk and Saughin as well.

I'm also thinking of amping up the Mythos connections, tying into the Brotherhood as Cthulhu-cultists?
What would you make of all that???
To make sense and include a lot of wheels?

Lastly, to change the "secret" of the smuggler trick haunted house. I am considering making the house really "haunted" by using a Brotherhood Cthulhu cultist "priest" that is making the haunting happen. I am considering this being an Abolith that was recently awaken by the cult from a forgotten sunken city off the coast!

Thoughts???
 

Motorskills

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I just remembered the warlock's patron is Cthulhu.....should I make the Abbey cultists pro-Cthulhu? What would be Mythos but anti-Cthulhu? (Hastur maybe?)
 

Akrasia

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Tharizdun was the 'Lovecraftian' deity from the original setting (an 'outsider' vis-a-vis all the other deities, with inscrutable goals, etc.).
 

randlathor66

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OK KP, I am liking the cut of your jib; you are using the module in the correct (*ahem*) setting and bringing in the Slavelords. Both things I approve of and would do myself. As to the specifics:

I wouldn't have any of the actual Slavelords in Saltmarsh, not at the beginning. If/when the PCs begin screwing up their local operations then one might come to see what the heck is going on, but before then I would have an agent of the Slavelords in charge of the local operation, and the group's first big-bad. (Barring the Saughin Baron in U3: The Final Enemy if you are using that adventure. And I think you should, the lizard folk could be a great asset in fighting the Slavelords…) I inadvertently created my most hated NPC out of the halfling in charge of the slaves in A1 Slavepits of the Undercity. He was only an agent, but man I played him so "I don't care, so you are adventurers here to screw everything up. Blah-blah-blah." His attitude and unwillingness to cooperate and talk, so annoyed my players that they ended up killing him. At which point he promptly vanished because of the contingency spell on him. Unknown to them, he appeared back at the Slavelords main facility and was promptly raised. At which time he reported what happened and got his next assignment. (Sorry tangent, but I hope it helps you realize you don't have to have the actual Slavelords be there to have a main villain. You can save them for later.)

Ned could totally be the Agent, but if you do that, please don't make him so stupid as to attack the party at the first opportunity (as I saw in one of the live-play broadcasts on YouTube - I forget which one). He should wait for the best opportunity, or perhaps even not attack them at all, but really worm his way into their confidence. That way he can be a deep mole, getting real information on the group and able to alert the rest of the slavers from time-to-time. I could be a long con, with the PCs finally figuring it out and then the betrayal will really FEEL like betrayal.

I really don't think you need to connect all of the various groups (Slavelords, cultist, Saughin, etc...). I might work if some don't have anything to do with each other, and in one or more cases would actually oppose each other. That way you can do some "enemies-of-my-enemies" stuff. In fact, I think the cultist should look like just a "side-quest" style adventure but turn out to possibly be the biggest of the big-bads the PCs will face. See below:

Tharizdun was the 'Lovecraftian' deity from the original setting (an 'outsider' vis-a-vis all the other deities, with inscrutable goals, etc.).
This, so much this. I love using that "god" because it scares even the other gods. In my mythology of Tharizdun, millennia ago all the other gods (including several who perished in the battle) banded together to destroy Tharizdun. But, they were unable to do so. The best they could do was lock it away in a (for lack of better term)" pocket dimension, where it couldn't affect the other planes. Unfortunately, even gods aren't perfect, so this prison has begun to fail. This is why you have cultists (along with some of them a warlocks in 5e terms) now; Tharizdun is able to lightly touch the prime material plane (and the one that is "closest" to its prison). Anyway, while the one adventure - likely done in a single game session - will seem to be a simple one-off, it could turn out to be the prelude to a much, much bigger problem. Such as the return of Tharizdun (or, at least, the attempted return, hopefully the PCs will be able to stop it).

Personally I wouldn't change the "haunted" house; the sheer awesome Scooby-Dooness of it is too great to mess with, imo. If you want to expand on the cult, you could have them do the aboleth thing somewhere else in town - or that old tower in the swamps just west of town (I forget exactly what it is and don't have my copy in front of me at the moment). That would come later, I would not throw an aboleth at a party of low level adventurers - I have used them in several different campaigns (and editions) of D&D to scare the heck out of players; they are not for "playing around with."

As Envyus mentions, two of the Slavelords are memebers of the Scarlet Brotherhood. I have always liked to assume (not sure if it is canon or not) that the other Slavelords don't know of their other affiliation. Basically, this was just another infiltration as far as the Brotherhood is concerned: a powerful group they needed to keep tabs on and perhaps usurp or destroy if/when the time came. I feel that would create the most possibilities for a campaign.
 
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