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  • Tomb of Dreams

    Greetings, Exalted forum! I am in need of your experience and wisdom.

    After a lengthy hiatus from Exalted, I stumbled across my 3e core and got the itch to run something. I sketched out the basics for a dungeon dive one-shot before remembering the Tomb of Dreams quickstart. It looks pretty promising, but I can't seem to find any posts from storytellers who have actually run it (or players who have been in it). Anyone out there who would recommend it based on personal experience? Suggestions for running it? Any pitfalls to watch out for? Ideas for better introductory one-shots?

    Possibly pertinent info: I'm running for three players all with some RPG experience but not much knowledge of Exalted beyond my elevator pitch and a skim of the core. I walked them through a simplified version of character creation (I picked their Charms and spells) and they came up with a Night crime fighter, a Twilight scholar, and a Dawn brawler all from Chiaroscuro. I'm pretty confident they have all the tools they might need to get through Tomb of Dreams, but wonder if it's the best fit for a first game of Exalted.

  • #2
    Yeah the Tomb went fine for me and my group. I mean my biggest problem in it came from a personal confusion on how you fight battlegroups when the BG's enemy isn't also one, and a bit of finageling when the PCs decided they wanted to keep their mouths shut about themselves when talking to the snake though any other topic they knew about was fair game as far as they seemed to go.

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    • #3
      I haven’t been in it personally but my read of it was that it was a perfect adventure for fledgling exalted players and had some good ideas for more experienced STs to go off of.

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      • #4
        I’m going to tweak tomb of dreams if I get off our game Hiatus. I’ll beef it out a bit to be higher then intro level quest. Tie in more supernatural oompff too. It’s a promising start, and has good basic flavor.


        It is a time for great deeds!

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        • #5
          I agree with most of the above: it's a solid adventure. I ran through it with the premade characters with a mix of new and experienced players. Everyone had fun. If you give the players their own characters it might mean they can take shortcuts, but it's probably fine?

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          • #6
            Yeah, I figure it’s short enough were you can’t really take too much of a shortcut.

            Now I’m actually getting the vibe this 2nd circle demon might even work as a baby 3rd Circle. I forgot the name of that Anamolous type of 2nd circle demon, the 8th souls that is theorized to bud off into its own 3rd circle like Dukanthas boat is said to be.

            But I figure add some more oomph, maybe full blown 1st circle demons living within rather then only emanations. Maybe have it the Corcle that originally bound the demon sorcerously crafted add ons to the dreamlike realm. Also the setting of my games has a special relation to dreams already, as I have all the dreams of the region actually manifest on an Isle to the northwest. So I am thinking of having the Demon bound somewhere to here so the literal physical passage to the Tomb of Dreams would be accessed on these strange isles. And maybe customize which characters are tied to the Tomb of Dreams. I’m thinking I may have something like only some of the Circle reincarnations of those who bound the Tomb of Dreams and the others NPCs. And they can settle how to divvy things up. I’ll also beef up the amount of treasures stored within so they have actual choices as to what they want.

            And it can be used even after it’s introduced. Like what if the demon is on the cusp of starting the chrysalis towards becoming a greater demon? What if their are Behemoths also bound into the Tomb of Dreams? What if the passageway to the Tomb is within another Behemoth, or Hekatonhire?

            I feel the most room for additions to the story is getting to the Tomb of Dreams itself so there is a lot of potential I already built on.


            It is a time for great deeds!

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            • #7
              I think that one of its strengths is also a weakness. It is well self-contained.

              You get an introduction to the Exalted, and some of the occult nature/potentiality in the setting, but you don't actually get introduced to Creation.

              I wouldn't be mad about a followup module introducing evocations for the artifacts set in an adventure in the locale it dumps you out in.


              Raksha are my fae-vorite.

              Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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              • #8
                I've run it twice, both for original Solar characters. I ran it as written the first time, and it worked fine. The second time, I used the encounters but changed all the fluff and descriptions. That way it could be more easily written into a bigger chronicle and one of the players who had already played the scenario didn't figure out that it was the same scenario until afterwards when I told him.


                Creator of Machineborn | Freelancer for Exalted |
                Youtube Channel | @ekorrenhj on Twitter

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ekorren View Post
                  I've run it twice, both for original Solar characters. I ran it as written the first time, and it worked fine. The second time, I used the encounters but changed all the fluff and descriptions. That way it could be more easily written into a bigger chronicle and one of the players who had already played the scenario didn't figure out that it was the same scenario until afterwards when I told him.
                  I'm definitely curious about how you re-fluffed the adventure, if you don't mind sharing. Like MoroseMorgan mentioned, the original has the drawback of not introducing new players to Creation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Codexgigas View Post
                    I'm definitely curious about how you re-fluffed the adventure, if you don't mind sharing. Like MoroseMorgan mentioned, the original has the drawback of not introducing new players to Creation.
                    It took place in the South. One of the players was an Eclipse scavenger lord who found a pyramid-manse made of mirrors in the desert. As he excavated the pyramid, he climbed into it and ended up on a chamber with a grave. After opening the grave, he met the Zenith player who had been wrapped in the Veil that Holds Back Time by his Lunar mate to escape the Usurpation, but she had died before she could wake him up. As the Zenith wakes up and his tomb cracks, the manse awakens, but it's broken and corrupted. The way back out is blocked by a membrane of shimmering moonlight. As they explore the chamber, a whirlind appears before them, takes the sand from the ground and forms the mirage of a lion (e.g. wolf emanation).

                    They leave the chamber and head deeper into the manse, and as they move, they notice the mirror walls melted and scorched. Another chamber appears and in it is a burning brazier. As they approach, the fire elemental appears, though it's tied to the brazier and can only go with them if they carry it with them through the manse. The elemental gives them what information they can, tells them about the manse and how a bound demon has been sleeping within it. The manse was powered by a sphere, now shattered and its fragments spread across the manse. I scrapped the water spirit completely because it wasn't necessary for this particular scenario.

                    They find a library clouded in darkness, where a goddess that's half-centipede/half-woman hides. The old archives can only be read while illuminated, and the goddess has been trapped in darkness, in possession of one of the fragments. She doesn't want the characters to leave the library, and forces them to show her records and read her stories, or at least promise to leave her light behind. I scrapped the snake emanation and swapped it for this character. She was the curator of the library and is bound to it

                    On their way to the inner sanctum, they pass a spiraling stairway covered in a sandstorm. Within this sandstorm appears "the monster," menacing tentacles of sand and burning embers. This part is pretty much identical to the water part from the scenario, but they are in a sandstorm instead of underwater. Another fragment lies there.

                    Finally the inner sanctum where they fight the demon. It's pretty much the same as in the scenario, but the sanctum is the top of the pyramid, surrounded by mirrors that create illusions and make them believe that reality is breaking down around them.

                    It went down something like that.



                    Creator of Machineborn | Freelancer for Exalted |
                    Youtube Channel | @ekorrenhj on Twitter

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Codexgigas View Post
                      I'm definitely curious about how you re-fluffed the adventure, if you don't mind sharing. Like MoroseMorgan mentioned, the original has the drawback of not introducing new players to Creation.
                      I actually found the fact that the adventure doesn't put too much time in explaining Creation a positive. The quick-start has demons and spirits and cool mystical artifacts and things that would make players excited to play Exalted. Once they are, the ST can tell them more about the "normal" setting.
                      But for new players, I like that it goes for cool moments that show what Exalted is about (including the rivalry between the Elemental and the God, which I think my players enjoyed a lot). I see it as a trailer or a demo to get players excited.

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                      • #12
                        I agree I like they don’t get cluttered Explaining Creation. Most starting PCs in my opinion shouldn’t know much about the world beyond their nation.


                        It is a time for great deeds!

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                        • #13
                          I've run it twice: once as written with the pregen characters. It went great, and the player who picked up Volfer had a) never played Exalted before, b) immediately grokked Volfer's entire personality just from the pull quote (Session goal: "I'm gonna seduce the volcano"). That time, it took about six hours, including setting overview, getting everyone caught up on the mechanics, and snack breaks.

                          The second time I ran it for my standing group as a start-up for the big campaign. They stretched it out to four sessions and I had plenty of time to get a sense of their interactions and what kind of consequences and threats would engage them. Highly recommend, particularly for a group that's new to Exalted.

                          The thing to watch out for is the kraken fight, it's kind of a pain track X identical combatants but the quickstart doesn't go into battlegroups when describing running that fight.

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