Content of the article: "I’m new to the Forgotten Realms; what are some other major powers I can add to Rise of Tiamat?"
I'm running an expanded version of Rise of Tiamat, keeping the basic concept but scaling up the campaign in both level and scope. My players are about to attend the First Council of Waterdeep at level 9, and will level up to 10 shortly thereafter. Tiamat has already been partially summoned, and my players are bringing back word to the council. I don't want Tiamat's return to be something limited to the Sword Coast; I've already set it up to be an existential threat to the entire world, and something that will force everyone to pick a side.
Now, when I say the entire world, I don't actually mean every single power in the Forgotten Realms. I've never played in this setting before, but even a brief look at the lore shows that Toril has four different continents with hundreds of countries. It's actually kind of ridiculous how much depth the Realms have, it's overwhelming. Thankfully, my players don't know anything about the setting either, so they don't expect that. Instead, I want to given them the feel of the whole world being involved by involving all the iconic D&D monsters and races, or as many of them as I can fit.
I want to come up with a list of the different factions/nations/races that might be up for grabs, then have my players compete with Tiamat to win them over. I love the idea of my players racing Tiamat in recruitment; they may secure a powerful faction and return in triumph to Waterdeep, only to hear that a different nation has sworn its allegiance to the Dragon Queen. This will also let me expand my enemy roster as the campaign progresses, rather than having them fight cultists and dragons every session.
The base adventure has elves, dwarves, dragons, and giants. Here's what else I have come up with:
- The Genies and Genasi factored heavily into the beginning of the campaign. I made up a Genie King and a vast flying city, and when the King heard of Tiamat's return, he made the call to run like hell. The entire city up and left the material plane rather than face her, which I used to underscore the magnitude of the threat.
- I want to add Thavius Kreeg and the city of Elturel to the Lord's Alliance. It seems like a powerful enough city that I'm kind of surprised it wasn't in the original adventure. They'll bring the Hellriders and conscripts to the table, but Kreeg is a traitor. His soul is still in hoc with Zariel, and he'll turn on the alliance if they don't find out first.
- I like the idea of cutting deals with traditional enemies, so I'm fascinated by what I've read by the Orc Kingdom of Many-Arrows. It seems like an organized society, with borders and diplomats and everything else. I could see them sending an ambassador to the Council, then declaring for Tiamat if they are rejected. That should make it clear to my players that failed diplomacy has consequences.
- I want the Yuan-Ti to declare for Tiamat after my player's first big success, to give them a sense that they're behind the curve. Is Najara a good country to use for that?
- About midway through, I want Tiamat to have torn enough of a hole into the Material Plane that armies of Abishai can start flooding out. That will give me some much tougher generic henchmen to use and be a clear escalation in the conflict.
Here are some others I would like to add, but don't know how:
- Vampires? Or at least powerful undead.
- Angels? Maybe I could tie them in with Thavius
- Aboleths and Mind Flayers.
- Demons, perhaps? That might be a stretch?
- Drow, and the entire under-world. Don't see how I could have them cross over though.
Is there anything glaring I'm missing? I've been DMing for sometime now, but I'm fairly new to D&D specifically.
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