One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thoughts on Elemental Evil

Iä! Shub-Niggurath!
Iä! Shub-Niggurath! 
The Black Fire of Chaos with a Thousand Flames!
"There are wheels within wheels in this village and fires within fires."
                                           The Crucible

I've updated the Ultimate Greyhawk page. I realize that I barely wrote up a third of the locations in Hommlet, and yet I'm sure theres more than enough material to start playing this thing. So many hooks and mini adventures. And thats not even counting the whole Cult of Elemental Evil at the centre of things.

Speaking of Elemental Evil. Wizards has started to roll out their new 5e vision for it in the Realms. At first I recoiled from the idea. But now the more I think on it the more I approve. See the thing is I've always felt that the generic nature of the factions was weak. It was something I planned to fix in my personal take on the blog. The idea of strange mystery cults that draw in people of all walks of life, hidden in the wilderness plotting and planning really gets me excited. It's fresh and it's new. Change for change's sake is silly, but I think this is a move in the right direction. 

The other reason I've always felt that the cults needed more was because of Monte Cook. Some people believe that his vision for Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil was a bad one. I disagree with those people, but hey, they're entitled to their own opinions. Anyway, while Monte was working on RttToEE he was also running his Ptolus campaign. You can see the parallels between his Chaos Cults in Ptolus and the Elemental Cults. For me it really illustrated how while these groups all have a common goal they are all so different from each other. How much they hate each other, and just how much character they each have despite this common uniting factor. 

I think thats the secret to properly running any kind of ToEE campaign. In fact I'd go farther and argue that almost any campaign relies on the strength of it's NPC's and the organizations they represent. For me ToEE is all about secrets. It's about the PC's and who can they trust. There should be paranoia, fear and backstabbing. Running ToEE is like running a great Call of Cthulhu campaign. Each layer reveals a new one, and the process of reaching each layer bring the characters that much closer to losing their fucking minds. The cults of Elemental Evil are not about the Elements. Those are just the tools of madness. Worshipers of of Elemental Evil are all about CHAOS.

At some point I'll come back to all of this. The ToEE is one of those things that I always seem to come back to. I hope you've enjoyed what I've written so far. It's nothing spectacular, but it has been fun to do.

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