Hej fellow DMs,
If Heian, a wereboar named Felix, and competitive dolphin training mean anything to you, well this post is absolutely not for you.
I am currently running the Cassalanter version of Waterdeep Dragon Heist. Already from the start of the campaign I have been adding more cultists, mentions of them seeking the Stone of Golorr, mentions of devils in hushed hushed tones, just to better plant the Casslaanters active presence in the city. I also accidentally didn't understand Detect Good and Evil and revealed some kind of fiendish mark upon them. I'm stuck with that booboo so I'm going to have to make the best of it. I've added a sub level to Trollskull Manor, in which a small number of cultists were secretly communing with a devil. I furthermore already had the idea of replacing the get out clause of the contract, to ensure that the Cassalanters pursue both goals, even if one is foiled: Meeting one condition spares the souls of the twins, meeting both also restores Osvaldo. In this way, I can utilise more of the content from the book.
I came to realise however that cultists, devils, the goal of sacrificing 99 souls, they line up pretty well with a bigger bad planning something from hell.
I figure that if the cult is secret, there is nothing to stop multiple of secret cults arising, not knowing about each other. Asmodeus could be adding the unwilling souls clause into many of his contracts made with many leaders of each of the cults.
Then it hit me. He could be using those to build an army to invade Waterdeep! Furthermore, that the Cassalanters could know of that overarching goal, and be fine with it, killing two birds with one stone: their children's souls, and aiming for influence in a post invasion city.
I had planned to progress to a wider arc of stopping the invasion, and that's when I realised that Descent into Avernus could be a good fit for the campaign after Waterdeep
I've been stepping up the groundwork for a seamless transition, reusing the planted cult presence. I can replace Asmodeus with Zariel, either as the actual focus of the cult, or as the main contact point with Asmodeus: a kind of "right hand woman". I can flesh out her underlying intentions later. Actual devils are appearing more often, in hidden areas. The party have been attacked by imps. The human guards in Cassalanter Villa already can have devils in place of human guards, so let's run with that.
I hope that the background plot, and foreshadowing of a transition is in place:
- More exposure to cultists and devils
- A use for the souls and money being collected
- A wider network of secret cults also sacrificing souls
- A reason for both parts of the payment of gold and souls to be pursued
and that the framework is there to replace Baldurs Gate with Waterdeep:
- The gold can be planned to be used to buy the masked lords (similar to Jarlaxe) instead of the cultists, as a part of ensuring a more peaceful transition of power (Think Tunon from Tyranny).
- The Grand Duke can be replaced with Larael
- The Casselanters replace Thalamra
- Asmodeus replaces the dead three
- I think that The Stone if Golorr can also function as the Shield of the Hidden Lord.
With that, I think the seeds are planted for a drop in replacement? An I missing any of the big points? Have I made any big mistakes that can't reasonably be hand waved away? Maybe this is already an effective way to do the transition well, in which case, please steal it.
Either way, I am asking for feedback. Please help make the transition as seamless and we'll conceived as possible?
Thanks for reading.
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