Project on the Borderlands Authoring (3 replies and 1 comment)
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Hello, I just registered and I'm interested in becoming an author and contributing to Project on the Borderlands.
My project is called Journey to the Heart of Chaos. The concept is a Swords & Sorcery mashup of B2 with Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse now. The setting is an island which has some geographical similarities to an island found in Australia. I converted the humanoids from B2 to be native human clan members, belonging to clans such as the Monkey Clan, Dingo Clan, etc. The Caves of Chaos are now the Primordial Caves, and are sacred to the clans.
In my module hack, the keep resides on an island that contains large lavender lotus plantations. The powder of the lavender lotus is a valuable drug, prized for the blissful feelings and ecstatic visions it produces. The Castellan was in the service of the Empire, and was charged with running the plantations and ensuring that the precious drugs were safely harvested and shipped to various Imperial ports. He had a reputation for brutality, and for harvesting record lotus crops.
Then something strange happened. Like Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, the Castellan "went native." He abandoned the keep, now resides in the Temple of Chaos, where he is worshiped as a god by hithe native tribesmen and freed slaves who follow him. Essentially, the Castellan is now operating as a warlord. He has many followers and still controls the plantations, but the lotus powder is now smuggled off the island by pirates for the Castellan's personal gain.
Needless to say, the Emperor is outraged by the Castellan's treason. The PC's are imperial thugs, and they have been sent on a simple, deadly mission: assassinate the Castellan at any cost. Although the PC's have free will to take any actions they with, failure to complete the mission is risky; if the PC's fail to kill the Castellan and are caught, they will be executed as traitors to the Emperor.
The conversion is pretty straight forward, and is almost finished. The Keep conversion is basic; it can be used almost as is. For the most part, I will simply to describe any internal politics that exist related to the new plotline (The priest is now secretly in the employ of the Castellan). I'm also adding a new rumors table, a random motivations table, and an a Fatal Flaw table that is a lot of fun, making it easy to create NPC's with weaknesses straight out of Game of Thrones. The map of the keep itself can be used as is.
For the wilderness, I created a large island map which can be used to extend the campaign, along with a smaller hex crawl map which replaces the original wilderness map. The Mad Hermit is now Mad Herman, who is modeled after the photographer in Apocalypse now. The best way to get to the caves is to visit Mad Herman, and take a boat down the river. There are new monsters, wandering monster charts, and conversion charts for mapping B2 monsters to monsters for the new scenario. The cave map itself can be used as is.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this project!
PS. One thing I could use help with: I need to figure out how to playtest this thing before I release it into the wild. It is really close to being at playtesting stage. I don't have a regular group, so advice is appreciated. Thanks.
This sounds great - I love the idea and this is one of the best re-interpretations of Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now for D&D I've read. Love that story - it seems like a natural fit for FRPGs. Fitting it into the KEEP is pretty clever, and I like how you've rationalised the Castellan's journey to "going native."
As a DM, my only concern would be what happens after the PCs succeed in assassinating the Castellan, and (to a lesser extent), how many adventures in the KEEP or the Caves would you expect before they're ready to execute that mission? Are there other local factions prepared to fill the power vacuum, or does the Emperor plan on installing a new Castellan? Will the PCs have a role going forward?
I'd also want to decide how easy it is for the PCs to enter the KEEP. Is the Castellan expecting assassins (i.e., "grocery clerks collecting a bill"), do the Castellan's officers support his madness, and what do the normal citizens think? Or all the citizens his slaves? How strong is his alliance with the "humanoids"?
These may be details than your playing group cares about - in my group, it would depend on how soon before the mission to kill the Castellan is finished. In Apocalypse Now, most of the adventure was reaching Kurtz - could you do the same thing in your hack, or is the journey relatively easy but lots of intrigue, sneaking about, and such once the KEEP is entered?
I'd also love to see your Fatal Flaw table - if you're keen to contribute, feel free to post as an article here.
I'd like to submit an adventure based on the KotB. Let me know how or if this is possible.
Pacesetter Games & Simulations
My apologies for not tending to this sooner - I must have missed your comment. I've updated your profile, and you should have authoring capability.
Please let me know if you have any problems - again, my apologies for the inexcusable delay.