The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

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The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:32 pm

Has anyone else wondered what to do w/ The Pit? For the longest time I tried to come up w/ something, then I remembered a 2nd edition adventure: Diablo 2: The Awakening...& so I dumped it "as is" into the The Pit. Now it may seem "too powerful" for such a low leveled area; but, Scorch is a 20**** HD Red Dragon so I see no reason not to add other powerful creatures. Also, one can tie it into the Mad Mage of Wizardspire by making him a Lich trying to rebuild Wizardspire as a school who'se "real" purpose is to keep Diablo & his fellow demons imprisoned in The Pit. For the school I used the 2nd edition College of Wizardary. I also tied Zanzer Tem & Chambrin to the school by having both being kicked out for trying to release Diablo & company. Chambrin use to be a teacher & Zanzer had been his star pupil. I did modify the various stairs into portals that lead from one floor to the next; but, made them all one-way ONLY. Also, since The Pit connects to the Hollow World, I had that portal located on Diablo's level. He's been trying to find a way to use the portal to lead his demonic followers in a take-over of the Hollow World; but, the Immortals who imprisoned them there fixed the portal so it can only be used by mortals. So, any thoughts, comments, recommendations?
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Havard » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Hi there Gravesguardian!

Welcome to The Piazza! If you have the time later and feel like it, you might want to introduce yourself to the rest of the bunch in the Hello Thread.

Indeed the Pit is a really interesting location in Thunder Rift! I like your ideas for the place. Note that the connections to the Hollow World from The Pit are only fan speculations. I like that idea alot though, although it would be a long way down before something like that could be reached.

An idea I have been playing with is actually to create an entire section of the Shadowdeep (Mystara's Underdark) below Thunder Rift. We could perhaps call it the ThunderDeep (Unless that's too cheesy)? This world below would cover the realms below all of the Thunder Rift as a huge dungeon. Perhaps some of the connections to Thunder Rift's history could be found down here as well.

What do you think?

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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:11 pm

Hello & thanks for the welcome, Havard.

By changing the stairs to portals, you can have any distance you want between levels so having the final portal reach the Hollow World shouldn't be too difficult.

As to the Rift version of the Underdark, I just always ran it as part of the whole. I used that to introduce a Shadow Elf PC into the Rift. And as far as the "huge dungeon" aspect of Shadowdeep, I'ld personally think on the lines of 2nd ed Ruins of Undermountain, maybe throw in Ruins of Myth Drannor, Dragon Mountain & Ruins of Adventure just to give players a dungeon to drive them insane.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby RobJN » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:44 pm

Havard wrote:idea I have been playing with is actually to create an entire section of the Shadowdeep (Mystara's Underdark) below Thunder Rift. We could perhaps call it the ThunderDeep (Unless that's too cheesy)? This world below would cover the realms below all of the Thunder Rift as a huge dungeon. Perhaps some of the connections to Thunder Rift's history could be found down here as well.

What do you think?

-Havard

You could always call it "Thunderdelve." Oh, wait....
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:57 pm

After some minor thought on the "ThunderDeep" name: Surface Elves may refer to the UnderDark as "ShadowDeep" since thats where the Shadow Elves are. The Dwarves may refer to the area beneath them as "DwarvesDeep". The various Human nations may refer to it as "UnderDark", so there's nothing wrong w/ Riftians calling theirs "ThunderDeep".
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Kylun » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:27 am

And idea roughly how big the Pit is? Like, could you fly a Spelljammer down through it like at the poles?
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:05 am

I don't believe there is a "canonical" size listed to the Pits opening. If there's any fan-made answers, I've never seen them. I look at the Pit as having been an abandoned quarry used by the Nithians for their many buildings. Abandoned because during digging they hit a vertical shaft & released some of Diablo's "lesser" demons. A Nithia Prince(Magic-User type, rather than Cleric) lead the battle to drive the demons back & ordered his personal guards to seal the "Pit's entrance" & forge guards so as to never let the demons run free again. It should also be noted that in that scenario, I have the "Mad Mage" being a descendant of one of the Prince's guards.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:10 am

Has anyone done anything w/ Uchard Tonsha, the wight in the Marshwoods? According to the listing, all corpses that fall in the Marshwoods, rises as a ghoul: apparently under his command. Since maps ain't anywhere close to being my thing, I threw together a "slight" list of creatures under his command & "living" in the nameless castle. (Yes I know that some maps list it as "Wight Castle"; but, going off the original map, it's nameless.) W/out further ado....welcome to my madness:

On the theory that the castle is Uchard's family castle: why the undead spawning? That's where history comes into play. The Tonsha family has had it's castle since shortly after arriving in the Rift(others can place that timeline; but, make it OLD) When Castle Kraal was planned & built, it offended the Tonsha family; they saw it as the Riftian's saying they hadn't been doing a good enough job keeping the area safe. It was members of the Tonsha family that helped corrupt & finally betray Castle Kraal & it was all done to further the cause of their patron Immortal: Thanatos. When the Tonsha family came to the Rift, they brought w/ them a very secret treasure; one Thanatos had corrupted long ago: a Nyxian Alter/Artifact. While originally meant to raise ONLY Nyx's followers as undead, Thanatos corrupted it to raise ANY corpse w/in a certain area as a ghoul or elder ghoul w/in 24 hours of death, in addition when an undead is slain w/in range of the Alter/Artifact they raise again 1 hour later. So long as the Alter/Artifact remains corrupted the undead menace cannot be stopped.

Now we get to the numbers that make up Uchards "army": Uchard Tonsha- Leader; 1 Swamp Velya- 2nd in command; 9 Lesser Nightmares; 10 Wights (each commanding 2 Elder Ghouls & 20 Ghouls= 20 Elder Ghouls & 200 Ghouls total); 20 Shadows; 12 Bone Golems; 10 Gargoyles & then we have the miscellanious annoyances. 5 Vampire Bats; 20 Giant Bats; 100 Normal Bats; 32 Giant Rats; 5 Normal Rat packs of 10 rats each(100 total); 20 Giant Centipedes; 15 Robber Flies; 3 Rock Python snakes; 8 Crab Spiders & 20 Stirges. Total XP based JUST off initial kills: 22,080 & that doesn't include the undead rising after being slain. Oh & yes, I did gather a treasure list as well.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:12 pm

more minor thoughts on the Rift:

#1 Melinir's Manor of the Recluse: Shadow Elf Wanderer, could easily explain why noone knows who he is.
#2 The Wailing Plateau: Secret gathering place for Shadow Elf Wanderers using their magics & other tricks to keep others out.
#3 Gloomfens Strange Keep w/ a Waterwheel: Gnome Clan that split off from the TR Gnomes to pursue their love of "tinkering" & trying to "improve" existing items. (The waterwheel being one of the few things they've built that actually works)
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Havard » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:25 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:more minor thoughts on the Rift:

#1 Melinir's Manor of the Recluse: Shadow Elf Wanderer, could easily explain why noone knows who he is.
#2 The Wailing Plateau: Secret gathering place for Shadow Elf Wanderers using their magics & other tricks to keep others out.
#3 Gloomfens Strange Keep w/ a Waterwheel: Gnome Clan that split off from the TR Gnomes to pursue their love of "tinkering" & trying to "improve" existing items. (The waterwheel being one of the few things they've built that actually works)


Cool ideas. In my campaign, Gnomes are fairly competent at such more believable technology.

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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:16 am

A new old thought on the Rift....WotES, more specifically the Duke's Castle now relocated to HW.

What if some enterprising party were to visit HW & screw over the SoP? Sure it'll end cultural bias's; but, what if it was also "secretly" keeping those civilizations in the zoo? By removing the SoP all the "lost" civilizations are suddenly returned to their original locations.....not neccessarily their original times! 1000 AC Thunder Rift now gains a 4th fortified city & a Duke rightfully demanding Riftians recognize his rulership of them.

After studying the TR map w/ the WotES map it appears that Duke Barrik's Castle would return halfway between the Whistling Cave & Melinir, since the two sections of land are quite similar to one another. Of course w/ Quest for the Silver Sword being located in the ruins of Barrik's Keep, it might be better to have it return there...after said adventure was had already been completed. Perhaps the Immortals merely placed the Castle in an area of HW "similar" to where it came from?

And now after having examined the WotES appearance of the Duke's Castle against the map of Barrik's Keep from QftSS....the 2 ARE very roughly similar. Hopefully a better person than I am can over lay the 2 for a better comparision.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:15 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:more minor thoughts on the Rift:
#3 Gloomfens Strange Keep w/ a Waterwheel: Gnome Clan that split off from the TR Gnomes to pursue their love of "tinkering" & trying to "improve" existing items. (The waterwheel being one of the few things they've built that actually works)


A new thought to toss out there about that strange Keep: What if it's the Rift's version of the Comeback Inn, not necessarily tied to 1 specific place or era? Maybe its more of a nexus to different campaign settings similar to Sigil in Planescape.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:43 am

Ok time to request advice from the peanut gallery, lol. I've re-envisioned the 4 BIG boxsets into one large dungeon & I'm torn between what to call it. My 1st idea was to name it: Bend over & smile 'cause the Dm forgot the lube. My 2nd idea was based off Havard making mention of an under-realm below all of Thunder Rift as a huge dungeon & I came up w/: Hey Havard, here's the start of your mega-dungeon. (And yes, this opening paragraph IS meant to be a joke.)

Starting w/ Trouble Below as our "core", due to it having 4 staircases (one in each corner of the map), we build outwards, upwards & yes, downwards.

Room #1 stairs in Trouble Below lead UP to the secret room in League of the Red Serpent found thru Room #14. They continue upwards to the landing of the stairs in Room #6 of the Fighter's Academy, that also lead up to the 2nd floor. (This door at the landing is a secret door.) I emptied Room #7 of its massive stairs & turned it into a guardroom w/ 4 Ghouls & a Wight. The "new" door down to the vampire's lair is now hidden in Room #5 on the wall below the stairs to the 2nd floor.

Moving now to Room #9 of Trouble Below, these stairs lead Down to the Entrance/Landing of Wyrmhaven. I placed them coming out in the square directly across from the entrance to the Grizzly Bear den (Room #1 of Wyrmhaven), making sure that it left enough room for the Green Dragon to launch himself off the ledge to go feed.

Next is Room #20 & it's stairs. They lead Down to Room #33 of Zanzer Tem's Dungeon. I left Room #34 as having the trapdoor leading to Stonefast's entrance that Kamro dug.

Which finally brings me to the stairs in Room #24 of Trouble Below. Again, these lead Down to Room #1 of Wild Dragon's Den. You'll of course notice that there are still 3 more exits from WDD....Entrance D leads to Room #13 of the Red Hand Trail, the Grizzly Bear cave. Now Entrance B of WDD leads to Room #1 of Palace of Dread. Entrance C of WDD is how Hakra enters & leaves to go hunt.

A much better mapper than I will have to work out just how things are aligned; but, I'ld say not all the stairs actually go straight up & down. More likely they follow what were once natural tunnels. This whole thing works best if its place in a cliff face w/ the Red Hand Trail main entrance at ground level for the starting adventurer's to tackle. Each of the Dragon lair's will also have an entrance on the cliff face but at a higher level so beginning adventurer's don't stumble into them. Much like the structure w/ the waterwheel, the entire Fighter's Academy sits at the top of the cliff.

Thoughts, comments, critisisms (sp?) are always helpful & sought after.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Grim » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:18 am

won't the party start getting sick of gong to the same big dungeon..."We need help! Now dragons are attacking"...."Where is this dragon?"....."The same dungeon the last 6 problems origionated from"....."cool, we already have the map!"

Sorry if this sounds sarcastic and rude (after proof read lol) Maybe I misunderstood, I guess my question is why put all quests together most of which are in total different areas of Thunder Rift?

Other than that, love the idea of a huge underground dungeon under all of TR with THE PIT as main access. I would rather just incorporate entrances or accesses from various dungeons/quests from TR. Keep the good ideas coming brother!!
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Gravesguardian » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:54 am

Grim wrote:won't the party start getting sick of gong to the same big dungeon..."We need help! Now dragons are attacking"...."Where is this dragon?"....."The same dungeon the last 6 problems origionated from"....."cool, we already have the map!"

Sorry if this sounds sarcastic and rude (after proof read lol) Maybe I misunderstood, I guess my question is why put all quests together most of which are in total different areas of Thunder Rift?

Other than that, love the idea of a huge underground dungeon under all of TR with THE PIT as main access. I would rather just incorporate entrances or accesses from various dungeons/quests from TR. Keep the good ideas coming brother!!


1st: never said you had to keep any of these elsewhere in the Rift. Strip them all from their current spots & shift them all into one major dungeon.
2nd: never said they all had to be stocked the same way either. I listed things as they would make sense for the maps as they are.
3rd: THE PIT: big open hole in the ground leading down, just reverse stock things. The FA/HT would be above ground w/ the weaker monsters fortifying it in larger numbers & the party works their way down from there...IF they find the secret doors.
4th: sometimes maps DO get re-used.
as for the "getting sick of going to the same big dungeon"......thats the whole point of mega-dungeons. they can't be finished in a single run-thru.

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=16996#p188742 see this thread for an extended Thunder Rift adventure path that adds ALOT of other adventures to the Rift that can more than make up for stripping these from their current locations.
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Re: The Pit....and other minor thoughts on the Rift

Postby Grim » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:07 am

Gotya, i see the whole picture alot better now, so melding together the smaller almost joke-quests into one that you can do all at once or little at a time, and then still keeping other TR adventures as single locations separated on the map? That may be a good idea, because you can almost sit down and do two or three TR/box set/fast play modules in one session....makes sense..
Cheers brother
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