Tower of the Elephant, playing today.

I'm running Tower of the Elephant today for a couple of friends. Its their first real jaunt into Howard's Hyboria.

I have to say that this adventure is excellent. I've read through twice now and it is quite simply a wonderful adaptation of Howard's story into gaming terms.

I'll let you know how it goes.
My copy now lies in hand- as well as Hyboria's Finest. Since we all know Raven's the harshest critic on the board I glad to say that Tower gets my seal of approval. Good atmosphereic dungeon crawl- though of course like everything ever written it can always be expanded further but we mortal writers have only so much time to devote to Art. Which is why I am shooting for learning that Immortality Sphere...8)

Finest is good too.
Mmpf! Still not available in Germany. If the next one pops up on this forum and tells me he has the module, I'm really getting depressed. :cry:
Hey, sorry! Thing haven't seem to slown down since this weekend.

Well I started them off in Shadizar , where they had recently found out that their Free Company had been scattered to the four winds and the that their last few months pay were NOT going to be forth coming.

So, that night, as they were drinking and whoring, they were ambushed by priests of Zath. They fought the priests off valiantly but after the smoke cleared they found out that their friend (an npc) was missing. With some investigative work they found out that it was indeed priests of Zath. But with a rather unlucky turn they were put on a false trail. One of the priests men set them on a trail to Arenjun and the Tower of the Elephant, stating that Yara was the high priest of the cult and that he was always performing sacrifices in his spider haunted tower.

So, after purchasing some mounts, saddles and food, the PCs head south and west to Arenjun. Once there they find out that there friend is most probably still in Shadizar, as Yara hasn't had contact with the cult in some many years. They also are informed that said friend is most likely dead. (This is a hook for me to introduce another PC in a few weeks).

So, desperate and broke, they start looking into this Tower of the Elephant and are eventually contacted by Buyarl as per the adventure. Mind you there are only two PCs of 6th level, but the players rolled their stats very well. Each character has at least two 18s :( So, I pretty much treat this as ECL + 1 for what they can handle. It seems to work out.

The thief in the party, a Zingaran, sneaks into the Stygian wagon to find Vanku doing battle with the Son of Set. The two thieves circle the snake in a deadly dance of steel, fangs and blood. Outside, a patrolling Stygian hears something amiss in the wagon and goes to awaken the priest and the rest of the guard. ( I eliminated the Zamoran mercs because there were only two PCS). The other PC, a Barbarian Nordheimer, leaps from the shadows (Leaping Charge) and with a single blow slays the guard.

Eventually the other guard on the wagon climbs atop and opens the hatch, only to see that the snake has been killed. Much to his surpise he gets a knife in the throat, but not before he raises the alarm. A fierce melee ensues, the priest tries to hypnotize the barbarian before he can flee with the thief, but I rolled poorly on this MAB and the barbarian flees toward the Maul. A chace ensues in the labyrinthine byways of the Maul and the characters eventually lose the priest. But, they also lost the thief Vanku, who got away with all the lotus dust.

Wounded and scared of the Stygian priest, the PCs find a nasty inn and attain a room and meals for a few days while they rest up. A couple of days later they discover a plot to poison them. The priest had tracked to them the inn (hard to miss a almost seven foot Nordheimer) and used his magic to make the serving wench poison their wine. The PCs successfully flee the Inn without alerting the Stygians who are watching it, and end up meeting Vanku elsewhere. Vanku offers them a third of the treasure in the Elephant Tower and gives them the lotus dust that they were to steal for Buyarl. He promises to use his share of the dust to help them get past the Tower's many guardians.

Thats where we stopped for the night.

All in all, it was more fun than I've had DMing in years. Hope you enjoyed the tale :) We play again in two weeks.

Oh, I've also made Howard fans of at least two more people :) They LOVE Hyboria.

I perused it briefly, looks nice. Wish the map was a pull out version though in lieu of being on the inside front cover...
Ok, I have read through the adventure and it looks great. I'm planning on running it this weekend with my group.

Anyone out there who has already run it have any advice?

The adventure itself looks pretty tight. Anything I should watch out for?
urdinaran said:
Ok, I have read through the adventure and it looks great. I'm planning on running it this weekend with my group.

Anyone out there who has already run it have any advice?

The adventure itself looks pretty tight. Anything I should watch out for?

I ran it a few weeks ago. I did away with the stygian caravan and after some work grinding away at the rumor mill they went to the temple district. They did not plan on going in that night but while they were at the wall a patrol nearly came upon them. They hopped the wall to escape and it was on!

I did not allow any "Rope of Dead Womens Hair" to be available as I felt the adventure would be too short and too similiar to the story of they entered from the top. Thus they were forced to find a way in at the bottom and work their way up.


Rather than make a bunch of noise outside the tower I lowered the DC of finding or detecting the chimney to the kitchen. Listening they learned that the lions had a hidden trap door leading underneath.

Oh by the way the lions really tore my players up! Remember they were only scouting and had no intention of infiltrating the same night so they were unarmored for the most part. The nice thing was they picked some armor up later! :D

In this module it is very easy for an alarm to get raised and if that happens its probably over for the PC's if they are not smart so stress stealth.

The map room really gives an opportunity to lay the ground work for future adventures witht he various marks and scrawlings on the maps and any scholars would have a field day in the library.

If the players take on Yara some will probably die. I was really concerned about my players confrontation with Yara as they had never read the story and anything could have happened.

I was certain someone would die but they could not unlock the door to Yara's den and went upstairs and met the yaggite. It played out just like the story, in the end, much to my scholars dismay as he was waiting for them to clear the tower before grabbing the books he wanted. They cleared the tower all right!!:twisted:

In the beginning of the adventure really play up the rumors about Yara if the PC's do any Gather Info. This stuff really creeped out my players and made Yara a fearful MoFo.

If your players do fight Yara I would work aout a basic attack pattern for him. What spells is he likely to cast? ex. Death Touch? Agonizing Doom? Fling some demon fire? How about a Greater Curse? I would read up his spells for sure.

The only areas my players did not explore was the west side of the undercaverns, the top of the tower and unfortunatly the Temple of Xath level. I was really bummed they did not find the Temple of Xath. I think it is a great encounter and was looking forward to it. I wanted to give them the feeling that the idol would come to life at any minute.

Also work out the scale in advance as the maps have no grid or scale. If you do not use maps and minis this is less important.

All on all we had a blast!! GregLynch really did a great job on the extra stuff that needed to be there to make the adventure complete.
Hey, this is great to read, thanks Zul Daire! Unfortunately, one of my players posted a word doc of the story "Tower of the Elephant" on our group pages before we even got the book, so everyone has read the story at least once already. Your notes about changes give good inspiration anyways, and I agree (trying to recall the cursory readthrough I had done when I got the adventure) that whether or not you like the changes Greg did, the adventure overall was a great job.

The notes about scale re: minis is a good point/reminder too. All in all I'm glad you made this post, Zul Daire, will help me when/if I come to trying this adventure!
Bregales said:
Unfortunately, one of my players posted a word doc of the story "Tower of the Elephant" on our group pages before we even got the book, so everyone has read the story at least once already. quote]

Thanks. Glad you got something out of it.

I thought one of the players had read it all ready but I was mistaken.

One of the false rumors says that Yara is a puppet of a corrupt power or something like that. I was going to make this a true rumor and have the Yaggite be the true villian in the story and use Yara to his evil ends. Like maybe he has Yara perform sacrifices and evil rites to prolong the Yaggites life etc...

Bad enough to fight Yara but then the Yaggite on top of that! Luckily I found out that none of them had read the story so I ran as written.
Cool twist though for those who know the story.