[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 4/7/2017
Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

"Short" was not intended to be an insulting word. In fact, sometimes having something short and fairly straightforward is good. In this case, you go to a half-dozen locations and talk to 3 people (well two spirits and a giant snake) and get in 2 or 3 fights. It's the sort of thing you can start and have wrapped up in 3 or 4 hours, or even sooner depending. It's an excellent aperitif to Exalted, a nice way to introduce people using a brief adventure to get them to understand the setting and rules. It includes a lot of the Exalted mythos (returning Solars, demons, spirits, etc). And it manages to crams all of that into a fairly short adventure that only takes up 17 pages, including artwork.

That's honestly pretty impressive.


I spent a lot of time considering how I'd do Return to the Tomb of 5 Corners better. What I ended up shooting for was, in essence, Return to the Tomb of 5 Corners plus Dark Souls' Painted World of Aramais plus "About one Mass Effect planet's worth of story content." (That's ME1, Noveria specifically).

To that end I produced an outline in which a whole ad-hoc court of spirit exiles was trapped inside a demon's dream-space. The dream-space was originally going to be a variety of landscapes and environments connected by portals all based on the demon's memories, with the spirit court sort of primarily focused in an area based on a memory of a Malfean bazaar. The more I developed it, the more the island as a coherent space appealed to me, so the bazaar got moved to the clouds above the island. The demon was going to be imprisoned in the interior of an iceberg, and I moved that to the ocean north of the island, and the PCs would have had to go there after collecting the anchors.

There was going to be this whole conflict where the spirit court actually hadn't been trapped-as-such until recently because one of the gods in it had been a storm-god capable of controlling the storms in the dream that kept the portal to Creation shut, only he'd recently died, and it was a murder mystery and the demon would have been the one to have killed him, and the head of the spirit court wanted to reestablish the entrance but would have tried to kill the PCs before letting them escape with the loot because that would collapse the dream and rob him of his secret headquarters. There were going to be about a dozen spirits, and then I cut it down to six, and then I played with and rejected adding an enslaved population of mortals.

And then as I brainstormed and wrote the thing, I just started cutting all the elements that might have worked but wouldn't have been necessary, until I was left with the realization that I could just have two trapped spirits, one who wants to free the demon and one who wants to keep it, and that they could live on the island instead of in a city in the clouds above, and then I cut the iceberg because the caldera made for a good showdown spot. The end result was significantly less than an ME1 planet's worth of plot, but, as you say, it works for a 1-shot, which is a strength in a demo.