Monday, March 23, 2015

"Valley of the Five Fires" Lead-in Suggestions

First off, I wanted to say "Thank you!" to all the folks who bought Valley of the Five Fires over the last few days. Next, I wanted to address a very good question that came up over the weekend.

"Because this is levels 4-9, what is the most perfect lead in module(s)
you can recommend to go with this?"

Welbo and I are actually working on a low-level module to do this very thing (tentatively intended to be module "VA0"), as well as plant some seeds for a third module ("VA2") that would act as a companion to the setting AND utilize the BX psionics system I've been developing. That being said, it doesn't really address the need for "now."

When I originally wrote Valley of the Five Fires, a lot of it was designed to be very flexible in terms of character level. For those seeking a lead-in from levels 1-3 or so, I would suggest the following...

Start by downloading The Lost Caverns of Azgot. It's designed to be part of the setting for Valley of the Five Fires. There are some very general area descriptions with complete flexibility for the DM to add his/her own monsters/treasure (it's got those little "fill in your own" spaces like the original monochrome version of B1: In Search of the Unknown). Given that the caves have been sealed off for so long, I'd suggest skeletons (using the armor and weapons specific to the setting; see. p.16-17 of V5F), as well as some giant rats, spiders, beetles, etc.

From there, you can actually get into the module itself...

The "Stupa of Divine Madness" is also very generic in terms of encounters (there are actually very few monsters, with most of the encounters being thinking/problem-solving in nature).

The "Tower Tomb of the Three Brothers (Bandit Lair)" (pp.48-50) is designed with a "scalable" encounter/treasure format. At the low end, you can run this as an adventure for levels 2-4.

By the time you run the three adventures above, the characters might not quite be at 4th level, but they'll likely be close enough to run a couple of other adventures in the book (possibly with minor tweaking).

From there, I'd suggest "Süm Sakhius (Ogre Lair)" (pp.52-52) and "Deathspire Rock" (p.54).

By the time they've complete the above, they'll like be ready for the major quest in the book, as well as the encounters with the chötgor and the phase giants. (BTW, you might want to throw some oil of etherealness as treasure in some of the earlier adventures. It will really help in those encounters with the phase giants.)


  1. Any chance you and welbo will kindly toss in a few "for further adventures" appendices into these new modules for those of us who enjoy much slower level progression campaigns by not allowing gp = xp??

    1. Absolutely. V5F does have some seeds, they're just not fully scripted adventures. I've been looking for something for April A-to-Z blogging. Maybe I'll flesh out some of those seeds (or add some other Valley-related adventures) and publish a free appendix.