Saturday, June 6, 2015

Spicing up "The Lost Temple of Demogorgon"

"The Lost Temple of Demogorgon" is an adventure module that appeared in Dungeon magazine #120. In it, the PCs discover an ancient jungle temple filled with awakened animals and a ~s~p~o~o~k~y~ demonic anvil.

This module has a number of things I like:
  • Apes as enemies
  • Demogorgon, the best archfiend
  • Jungle-choked temples
  • More apes
Yet despite all that, there's a certain something missing. I can't exactly put it into words: I should really like this adventure but it seems so bland. I've got a few ideas on how to spice it up though. As a caveat, although I'm writing about a D&D 3.5 adventure, I absolutely hate the system and would be extremely unlikely to run it in 3.5.

  •  Instead of having the Dwarven miners report the sightings of "Ogres", the three local Dwarven chaplains secretly reported to their superiors, who then contacted allied nobles/merchants who hired the PCs
  • The actual bosses of the mining operation are trying to cover up the incident using their "peacekeepers" - hired mercenaries who make sure the miners obey the bosses
  • Finding out the exact details of the sightings therefore requires convincing a miner or two to risk their jobs by telling and possible confrontations with the bosses' mercs
  • The awakened apes are cool but I want something even cooler. In addition to battle-armed awakened apes there are also battle-armed awakened deinonychus (type of velociraptor). Everything is better with dinosaurs.
  • Awakened monkeys to back up the other troops with blowdarts and slings
  • Replace the Troglodytes with something more exotic. I'm not sure with what but I definitely don't want "stinky Lizardfolk" as the a central focus.
  • The temple guardians don't wield and the Dread Forge don't create steel weapons and armor. These items should instead be made from bronze or, for a more flavorful touch, stone, bone, and hides.
  • Speaking of the Dread Forge, it looks incredible dopey. Instead, the Dread Forge is massive combination altar/statue with a 10-foot tall idol of Demogorgon behind the 10 ft x 10 ft square "altar". Both heads of the idol have rubies as eyes. Naturally, removing these cursed rubies is a bad idea. 

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