[DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

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[DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Big Mac »

There is an adventure, set partially in the Spelljammer campaign setting up on DMs Guild. And it's not just up on DMs Guild - it is being advertised in the DMs Guild newsletter. It's called Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques and it's written by James Introcaso and it must be "legit" because it's part of the DMs Guild Adept program (run by Wizards of the Coast)!:
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Here is the DMs Guild blurb:
DMs Guild wrote:Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques
From James Introcaso

Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques is a single-session, over-the-top, gonzo action adventure meant for four to six level 20 characters. The adventure serves as a capstone for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, but can be modified for any setting.

What’s more fun than one tarrasque? How about multiple tarrasques stomping across Waterdeep? How about a whole planet full of tarrasques ready to rumble? If that sounds exciting, then Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques is for you.

Halaster Blackcloak died... but then he came back... with reinforcements...

Adventure Background

Halaster Blackcloak, the Mad Mage of Undermountain, always has a contingency in place. As long as Undermountain remains beneath the city of Waterdeep, Halaster can never truly die within its walls, for the dungeon rebuilds the mage’s body on the rare occasions when adventurers “kill” Halaster.

Halaster realized that if adventurers destroyed all of Undermountain (a nigh impossible feat more difficult than even slaying the mage), he would lose his immortality. To further protect his life, Halaster took some of the rooms and halls of Undermountain and flung them across the multiverse, including other worlds of the Material Plane. With Undermountain spread across existence, the task of permanently killing Halaster is even more difficult.

Unfortunately for the mage, a party adventurers recently killed him in his dungeon beneath the City of Splendors. When Halaster’s body reformed, he found himself in Falx, another world of the Material Plane inhabited entirely by enormous, carnivorous monsters with endless appetites. These scaly bipeds are closely related to the tarrasque, an infamous monstrosity feared across the worlds of the Material Plane. Halaster, now obsessed with punishing the adventurers who killed him, began to hatch a plot. If one tarrasque could level an entire city, what could a planet’s worth of the beings do to Faerûn?

Adventure Overview

This adventure is divided into three chapters.
  • Chapter 1. In “Giff You a Hand” a platoon of giff arrive in a spacefaring vessel and warn the adventurers about a coming invasion of tarrasques. With the clock ticking, the characters have a chance to prepare for the battle by mustering their allies.
  • Chapter 2. In “Battle for Waterdeep” the characters face-off with the invading titans, defend Waterdeep, and fight for their lives.
  • Chapter 3. In “Falx, Ho!” the characters travel through a portal to the planet of Falx to face Halaster and his army of tarrasques atop a stone tower made from pieces of Undermountain.
This product includes...
  • A PDF of the adventure with art
  • A printer friendly version of the adventure
  • Map images that can be used with virtual table tops
This is a DMs Guild Adepts product. The DMs Guild Adept Program was started and is managed by Wizards of the Coast. It brings together some of the best talents creating for the DMs Guild for creative development. DMs Guild Adepts products are identified by the gold ampersand logo.
Falx is one of the planets from SJR4 Practical Planetology, so it's definitely not in Realmspace (which I know was already released under the wing of Forgotten Realms on DMs Guild).

I've not seen a formal annoucement by WotC that Spelljammer (or maybe the parts of Spelljammer outside of Krynnspace and Greyspace) are open to DMs Guild. Maybe only DMs Guild adepts are allowed to write products set in the Spelljammer universe.

What with Nathan Stewart pulling the Spelljammer confirmed stunt and then specifically saying: "...I've told you we are not doing Spelljammer anytime soon. So don't go there" after the Spoiler Number 5 announcement for the 2019 D&D setting plans, it kind of doesn't make sense for the DMs Guild Adepts program to sneak out a Spelljammer adventure shortly afterwards.

Is this another stunt by Nathan Stewart or do WotC have no idea what they are doing with DMs Guild! :P I still can not find an easy to understand list of what campaign settings can be published in DMs Guild. I saw a Magic: The Gathering product a while back, asked WotC and DriveThru if they had rolled out M:tG and they yanked the product, so I know that they are confusing the people who write for DMs Guild.

I'd like to see some sort of clarification of the status of Spelljammer. Have the DMs Guild Adepts program broken the DMs Guild agreement? Is this a special case? or is Spelljammer now a setting available for publication on DMs Guild? :?
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Yaztromo »

Sounds like good fun! :P
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Tim Baker »

Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:31 am
I'd like to see some sort of clarification of the status of Spelljammer. Have the DMs Guild Adepts program broken the DMs Guild agreement? Is this a special case? or is Spelljammer now a setting available for publication on DMs Guild? :?
This is a complete guess on my part, but I suspect this is permitted because of a combination of it being written by the Guild Adepts and that it's tied into the latest hardcover adventure (even if it uses content from Spelljammer). I'm not sure if anyone else would be allowed to do the same thing -- probably not, but again, I'm only guessing.

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Big Mac »

Tim Baker wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:51 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:31 am
I'd like to see some sort of clarification of the status of Spelljammer. Have the DMs Guild Adepts program broken the DMs Guild agreement? Is this a special case? or is Spelljammer now a setting available for publication on DMs Guild? :?
This is a complete guess on my part, but I suspect this is permitted because of a combination of it being written by the Guild Adepts and that it's tied into the latest hardcover adventure (even if it uses content from Spelljammer). I'm not sure if anyone else would be allowed to do the same thing -- probably not, but again, I'm only guessing.
I don't think anyone else would be allowed to do the same thing either...not until they release Spelljamme to DMs Guild.
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Big Mac »

Yaztromo wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:01 pm
Sounds like good fun! :P
It does. :cool:

I think this adventure might work better in a Spelljammer context (instead of a Forgotten Realms context). If you swapped out Halaster Blackcloak for someone else and had an an invasion from Falx to another celestial body in the same crystal sphere, all bets would be off and the tarrasques could potentially take over the entire planet...if left unchecked.

(And because there are multiple worlds in the Spelljammer universe, the players could retreat offworld...if they got unlucky...without the entire campaign setting being destroyed. I'm not so sure the same would apply if you ran this on Toril and the tarrasques took over Waterdeep and started breeding.)

There are also mindflayers on Falx, so this might even fit in with some sort of illithid plot to take over other worlds.
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by willpell »

This sounds incredibly stupid; I want it.

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Cromstar »

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:13 pm
There are also mindflayers on Falx, so this might even fit in with some sort of illithid plot to take over other worlds.
Plot to take over the world or plot to rid themselves of those troublesome tarrasques by foisting them off one someone else's planet? I can't imagine sharing a world with that many tarrasques is fun even for illithids.

Actually, how the heck do the illithids survive there anyway? This could be a 5e stat-thing, but I'd think that illithids would find themselves outmatched by tarrasques even in low numbers?

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Jaid »

Cromstar wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:32 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:13 pm
There are also mindflayers on Falx, so this might even fit in with some sort of illithid plot to take over other worlds.
Plot to take over the world or plot to rid themselves of those troublesome tarrasques by foisting them off one someone else's planet? I can't imagine sharing a world with that many tarrasques is fun even for illithids.

Actually, how the heck do the illithids survive there anyway? This could be a 5e stat-thing, but I'd think that illithids would find themselves outmatched by tarrasques even in low numbers?
well, probably living underground helps. and also the fact that they are all psychic probably helps too... and quite frankly, simply enslaving flying creatures will go a long way as well. tarrasques have not always stayed *exactly* the same, but it seems to be consistent that they're pretty bad at actually hurting anything that can move faster than them, fly, or hide. that makes them devastating to buildings, but far less devastating to mobile cavalry units.

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Cromstar »

Jaid wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:24 pm
well, probably living underground helps. and also the fact that they are all psychic probably helps too... and quite frankly, simply enslaving flying creatures will go a long way as well. tarrasques have not always stayed *exactly* the same, but it seems to be consistent that they're pretty bad at actually hurting anything that can move faster than them, fly, or hide. that makes them devastating to buildings, but far less devastating to mobile cavalry units.
Well, the 2e tarrasque is immune to all psionics, in addition to its immunity to heat, fire, and just about any kind of directly attacking magic (to quote: "Bolts and rays such as lightning bolts, cones of cold, and even magic missiles are useless against it."), which is why I brought up the possibility its a stat difference for newer editions to expand the range of options for damaging a tarrasque. And underground doesn't seem like it would really help (the tarrasque likes to lair underground, and is probably more than capable of digging out smaller tunnels to get at the larger ones any kind of illithid civilization would be built in). Flying in the air would keep you out of reach of them, I suppose, but I don't know if illithids would be up for all that day-time sun?

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by willpell »

Cromstar wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:36 pm
but I don't know if illithids would be up for all that day-time sun?
Do we know if the Planet of the Tarrasques even *has* a sun? Even if we assume realistic astrophysics (which we shouldn't, because Spelljammer is canon), so the planet can't be actually hurtling through the cold void of space without the atmosphere freezing, the planet could absolutely be shrouded in permanent thunderclouds so that the sun never touches the ground - or the flying cities 2,000 feet up where the illithids and their slaves/food/etc. live.

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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Big Mac »

Cromstar wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:32 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:13 pm
There are also mindflayers on Falx, so this might even fit in with some sort of illithid plot to take over other worlds.
Plot to take over the world or plot to rid themselves of those troublesome tarrasques by foisting them off one someone else's planet? I can't imagine sharing a world with that many tarrasques is fun even for illithids.

Actually, how the heck do the illithids survive there anyway? This could be a 5e stat-thing, but I'd think that illithids would find themselves outmatched by tarrasques even in low numbers?
It's possible that the tarrasques were put onto Falx to destroy human/demihuman civilisations on the surface.

That could have been something that the illithids did to make the planet less hostile towards them.

Or it could be something that the Netherese spellcaster Karsus came and did, when he needed tarrasque body parts to work on his level 12 spell Karsus's Avatar. That could be something that the illithids were able to take advantage of. If they could outfly the tarrasques and fortify landing sites that led to underground lairs, they could easily create the illusion that surface labour camps were holding out against tarrasque attacks.

There is actually a movie called The Island that has a plotline that I think could fit in with the illusionary human society that the illithids have created on Falx. A reboot of the plot from that, with ideas from James Introcaso's new material is something that might well work as the basis of a "Points of Light Hold My Beer" campaign set on Falx.
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Tauster »

I don't want to derail the thread, just point towards another Tarrasque-related plot/setting idea / nascent game world.

Not sure how much this has gotten around the roleplaying community, as the thread is from 2006. I hadn't heard of that idea until this week, and find it cool enough to put that city state on one of the Mirrorspace worlds. Right now I'm still extracting/condensing ideas from the brainstorm that followed the initial idea.

Also not sure how we can spelljammerize it, but putting it on a groundling world for the party to visit is works well enough for me - there's always a need for spectacular realms to populate all those groundling worlds! :)


https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads ... ue.261519/
I was inspired while reading about the tarrasque. Specificaly the bit about its regeneration.

<i>"Once apon a time a nation decided to end the threat of the tarrasque once and for all. An army was assembled, led by the greatest heroes of the age. Most importantly, a number of powerful magical weapons were created for the battle. The monster was lured into a tight canyon and the battle began.

"At terrible cost, the tarrasque was defeated. But not slain. It was impaled by fourteen Immovable Harpoons (like an immovable rod, but spikey), each attached to a thick adamantine chain sunk deep into the canyon walls by magic. The tarrasque was restrained.

"A fortress was built around the tarrasque, to watch over it. Every day it's watchers hack away at the tarrasque with powerful magic weapons to keep it weakened in case of escape. Even so, there are casualties as they misjudge its reach, or as it's angry thrashing causes rockfalls.

"Of course, being a powerful magical crearture, the tarrasque's blood, flesh and other body parts have certain useful properties. A side effect of keeping the tarrasque imprisoned like this was a neverending supply of powerful magical components. A city grew up around the fortress to house the various wizards, scholars and alchemists that came to exploit the tarrasque's bounty. Eventually, it was almost as if the neverending stream of tarrasque blood, flesh and bone was more important than imprisoning the beast itself."</i>

I'm picturing decadant nobles made immortal by their continuued consumption of tarrasque flesh. Warrior-butchers wielding vorpal greatswords to hack away at the tarrasque and channels cut into the stone underneath the beast to channel the valuable blood away. The tarrasque's distant screams and roars would be a continuous background noise for the people in the city, with "tarrasque-quakes" common. Almost an industry of ludicrously expensive magic items crafted from its body parts - tarrasquehide armour, tarrasquebone spears and potions and other alchemical miscellania of course.

You could play up the creepiness of the whole thing, maybe eating the flesh and blood of the tarrasque has unwanted side-effects. I'm thinking of tarrasque blood being analogous to the spice from dune - in this city the blood's used in just about everything and it has unusual effects on the populous.

Even with the tarrasque mostly restrained, getting close isn't a good idea and there'll be pretty frequent casualties amongst the butchers. Because of its reflective carapace, mnagic is a no go so it has to be someone getting in close with a big knife. Every now and then the chains will need to be re-planted to make sure they've not been loosened by the tarrasque's thrashing about - what fun that'll be.

And there's the whole hubris angle - maybe the pressure to cut away more and more of it lets it pull free of one or more of the immovable harpoons. And an inevitable tarrasque-worshipping cult that is covertly planning to free their god.

And if you want to play up the "tarrasque as force of nature" thing, maybe its imprisonment is throwing the natural order of things out of whack. The tarrasque is a necessary part of the ecosystem and plays "natural predator" to something really nasty. Without the tarrasque killing off the nasties every X years they've had time to grow into their adult, even nastier form.

I mean, come on; a fortress built around a chained godzilla who's constantly being butchered is dripping with adventure hooks and just plain cool.
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Re: [DMs Guild] Invasion from the Planet of Tarrasques

Post by Starglim »

Tauster wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:08 pm
Not sure how much this has gotten around the roleplaying community, as the thread is from 2006.
It has a dedicated site and published output:

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