Manifestation of the Deathberg

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Big Mac
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Manifestation of the Deathberg

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:29 pm

This is an idea for an adventure in and below the city of Manefest in the Ghostwalk setting, inspired by some of the things that RPG sewer guru Stephen Rowe has been saying.

This is a work in progress.

There will obviously be spoilers in this topic.

There will also be discussion of sewage and sewage-related adventure hooks.

You have been warned. ;)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Manifestation of the Deathberg

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:54 pm

Ideas for inclusion in this adventure.

The setup for the adventure:
  • The Deathwarden Dwarves notice a foul river flowing through parts of the Lower City,
  • The foul river starts to rise and flood parts of the Lower City,
  • The Deathwarden Dwarves find there is a blockage in the sewers coming down from the surface city of Manifest,
  • The Deathwarden Dwarves talk to the Council of Warders and demand that repairs are made,
  • Wastewater engineers fix the leak, but other leaks start to happen, because of a blockage somewhere below the Lower City,
  • Wastewater engineers try to search for the blockage causing the downpipes to block and overflow but are attacked by various monsters of the Lower City
The PCs need to come in somewhere at this point, perhaps hired by a representation of the Council of Warders or the Deathwarden Dwarves.

The background for the adventure:
  • The city of Manifest sprung up around a dwarven cave that contained the Veil of Souls,
  • The city has been destroyed twice and both times a new city has been built on top of the old city,
  • The Undercity consists of the remains of the two buried cities that the current Manifest is built over,
  • Some of the basements in Manefest were originally the ground floor of buildings in the Upper Level of the Undercity,
  • When the Upper Level of the Undercity was on the surface, it was connected to the original sewage system by pipes that dropped through the Lower Level of the Undercity,
  • When Manifest was rebuilt for the second time, it was connected into the sewage system in the Upper Level of the Undercity by similar pipes,
  • The original sewers below the Lower Level of the Undercity were well-built when the city developed,
  • The pipes down from the second city to the Lower Level of the Undercity were also well constructed when the city was covered over and rebuilt,
  • The pipes down from the current city that hooked up to the Upper Level of the Undercity were also well constructed when the city was covered over and rebuilt the second time,
  • The good construction of the original sewers and the downpipes connecting into them has led the government to take the system for granted,
  • Dangerous monsters have moved in and populated the two levels of the Undercity and this has made exploration of the Undercity and maintenance of the sewers more and more dangerous, as time has gone on.
This leads to a situation where an unpleasant job that is hazardous, but not deadly, in other cities in the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting, has turned into a slow unplesant task that needs to be carried out in hostile territory under siege conditions.

Everyone knows that Manifest is built on the Undercity and that it has been rebuilt twice, but the current members of the Council of Wardens might not be aware of exactly how the sewers are hooked up to the earlier waste water system.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Manifestation of the Deathberg

Post by Sturm » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:07 pm

Very interesting adventure! following!

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Re: Manifestation of the Deathberg

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:58 pm

This sounds very interesting, I'll be checking in on it myself.

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Re: Manifestation of the Deathberg

Post by Big Mac » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:58 pm

Sorry for the delay with this.

I've got some stuff I need to figure out, so I've been trying to find time to reread stuff, but maybe it is better if I do my working out in public.

Things that PCs have to find out about, as the adventure progresses (in no particular order):
  • Individual blockages in down-pipes will cause several knock-on problems (that the PCs will have to deal with/assist with) and all of these will be symptoms of the real cause of the problem,
  • One problem will be the Deathwarden Dwarves threatening to take their own steps to preserve their own water supply (which might involve shutting off the flow of drinking water to surface dwellers or sealing down-pipes and causing surface toilets to overflow,
  • Another problem might be one of the underground races thinking that sewage contamination in their water supply is an attack by surface dwellers who want to drive them out of the Undercity (they may "retaliate" by attacking sewer workers who are attempting to fix the problem),
  • This problem started off - a long time ago - with the secret work of the Necromancers of Night Alley - they have been conducting illegal experiments where they attempt to use the power of Manifest and ectoplasm to animate the dead,
  • The Necromancers of Night Alley have been hiding the evidence of failed experiments by rendering down dead bodies and body parts and flushing what is left down drains, but the drains were never designed for this,
  • A fatberg started to forum below Night Alley and started to block the sewers from the city wall back to Night Alley,
  • The fatberg contains various things, but one of the things that makes it different from other fatbergs is that contents include bones, strips of decomposed flesh enhanced with ectoplasm and necromantic magic,
  • The fatberg carries some non-magical diseases,
  • Parts of the fatberg function as ectoplasm and are edible to monsters that eat ectoplasm or ghosts,
  • The fatberg is fairly sticky and can suck in people who try to walk on it or eat or remove parts of it,
  • Monsters or ghosts who eat parts of the fatberg become contaminated with the diseases within the fatberg and can cause others to become ill.
Things that I need to check/clarify/develop:
  • I think the river to the south of Manifest flows west to east, but need to confirm that (as the downhill direction is important),
  • I know that Phantom Hill is fairly high up in the air, but have to get an idea of how high the various districts of Manifest are,
    I know the first city of Manifest had a wall and that the current one only has fragments of that wall, so I need to decide how well the original sewers confirm to the map,
  • I need to think about what security bars/features would be placed below a now gone city wall that might work as the starting point for a fatberg,
  • I need to work out exactly where Night Alley is, and then work out how much of a blockage could be created between Night Alley and the lowest point of the first city of Manifest, where sewage would have flowed out through the city wall,
  • I need to think about how drinking water gets into Manifest (considering that Manifest is 3 levels above the sewers and the sewers would have been just below ground level),
  • I need to see if Ghostwalk canon has an underground river flowing into the Deathwarden Dwarven area and how the various other monsters would gain fresh water (considering that storm drains and sewers are two levels above some of these folks),
  • I need to check the various living monsters in the two levels of the Undercity to see who would be affected by a sewer blockage and who might put aside differences with the PCs to work on a solution together. (I also need to figure out factions like undead that would be unaffected by sewage contaminating fresh water and who might try to take advantage of the situation.)
  • I need to work out what sort of normal threats a fatberg can create,
  • l need a cool name for one or more diseases that can be caught from the fatberg (or fatberg material),
  • I also need to work out how a fatberg can work as a trap,
  • I also need to work out what monsters can be trapped inside a fatberg and remain alive to attack anyone who digs them out.
So this is more of how the middle of the adventure will work.

Then I need to move onto what other factions would discover that a magically enhanced fatberg has formed below Manifest and try to use the situation to their advantage.

I might go through all the standard factions and think about what their motivations would be.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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