ML#18 Carl's Crossing
 It is Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day! I've been working on this one on and off for a while. Temple of Putrescence is part of a possible end game scenario for the Komor Forest sandbox I continue to work on. In short, there is a very good possibility the party could piss off one of the death gods, Kossuth. And when you piss off a death god nothing good can come from that.

Behind My Screen

Planting the Seed: This is one of those adventure locations I like to hint at throughout a campaign. Drop hints/rumors about a temple dedicated to a death god somewhere over yonder. Drib of information here, drab of information there and see if the players are interested, but as soon as they are, put a situation in front of them that requires their immediate attention. I think this builds a mystique around the place. Which helps establish a mood/atmosphere before the players even arrive.

Foreshadowing: This is a nasty place. Nearly everything in here can end badly for the players. Even finding the treasure is detrimental. While I don't attempt to balance encounters I do try to give my players clues that they may be in over their head. For example, the party manages to arrive at the temple at 1st or 2nd level, or maybe they are down a person or injured. If the hundreds of bodies laying around isn't enough, have Rogger, the ogre, run out of the temple, screaming like a little girl and jump over the cliff into the water below. If the party wants to go in at that point, let them have at it.

Exploring a Religion: I love developing cults and 'Petty Gods'. Kossuth is a major player though. He stands as one of nine death gods and is very active in this area. While his priests are not well known in this area of the world, there are rumors that this death god has influence in other areas of the world. This temple represents his wrath. Killing and punishing his faithful is not an issue. And as the players explore the area discover Kossuth's appearance in this area over 600 years ago still echoes today.

Artifacts: At the end of the adventure is the Sword of Kossuth. In terms of Swords & Wizardry Light it is a powerful weapon. However, it has some major drawbacks. Drawbacks that can damage a character into retirement or kill him. When I make powerful items I like to develop drawbacks or weaknesses. While this sword won't yell at the player in a Scottish accent, it does have enough awareness that it reacts to certain situations. And like most powerful creatures or items, they are jealous and unforgiving. I encourage the GM who uses the sword to develop specific drawbacks that personal hinder/hurt the character. Much like it tailors its powers to the wielder(such as if a player is fighting a lot of trolls it may start doing fire damage), it also customizes its punishments to hurt the character the most. The Sword of Kossuth is a game changer in a lot of ways, the character that wields it just became the big bad ass, but one misstep and everything could be taken away. That's what I like about artifacts.Well guys, I hope to enjoy this adventure. It's nasty one.

Happy Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day!