Use Life’s Bazaar Adventure Module in Ptolus from The Shackled City
Read Life’s Bazaar Part 1 of the Shackled City Adventure Path on my website D20.pub.
Watch the video and tell me in the comments what you think!
Paizo wrote the Life’s Bazaar module in Dungeon Magazine Issue #97 as Part 1 of the Shackled City Adventure Path which will take PCs from 1st to 20th level. On my other website D20.pub I’ve transcribed this entire adventure from the low resolution PDF which is legally and free available on archive.org.
There is a 5E Conversion of Life’s Bazaar on DMSguild.com
How to use Life’s Bazaar in Ptolus instead of Cauldron
The Lord Mayor should NOT be Commissar Igor Urnst. I would get rid of this character all together or have him be simply a powerful noble. It doesn’t make sense the Commissar would be controlled by a Beholder. He has too many powerful allies.
Lord Orbius Vhalantru is a Beholder who disguises himself to pass as a real Noble. I would have him join House Abanar because he could just buy in and have a Noble title. His illegal activities could be their own stand alone venture, OR you could easily associate him with the Killraven Crime League or the Balacazars. I recommend Killraven because they are already almost all monstrous races.
Simply change the Church of St. Cuthbert to the Church of Lothian, or another Ptolus Deity you prefer.
Campaign Hook: People have been taken from their homes during the night. This could tie into the Night of Dissolution (NoD) if you want to run that module too. The victims from Life’s Bazaar were robbed. The cultists from NoD don’t usually rob people.
Kazmojen is a half-dwarf/half-troll slave trader. His stronghold was carved from lava rock and called the Malachite Fortress. He runs a slave bazaar where he sells his latest acquisitions to creatures of the Underdark.
You could tie him into the existing Slave Market under Ptolus. Or you could have this be a separate slave trade.
The existing Ptolus slave trade could focus on selling people into the city while Kazmojen’s focuses on the Underdark.
I’m going to make him part of the Ptolus slave trade because there is no map for that in Ptolus currently and I want to use the Malachite Fortress map for the slave trade.
Skulks and Dark Creepers lair in the abandoned, subterranean gnome enclave of Jzadirune. You could change Jzadirune to be a dwarven outpost and part of Dwarvenhearth or kept it as the gnomes. I plan to do the latter as I want it to be totally separate.
Side Quest: I’ve already run the Tiger’s Palace Adventure Module for Levels 9-10, but you could connect this as part of the campaign too, if you want to rescue those gnomes beneath the city from a liche. This could be tied into Jzadirune, or a separate section a gnome ally tells the PCs about. (See More Ptolus Adventure Modules)
The Lantern Street Orphanage could be added to Ptolus or you can use the Orphanage near the Warrens called Tenpin Children’s Home.
Jenya Urikas could be a new Lothian Cleric. You could use Luana Dremain of Tenpin Children’s Home. Or you could use the cleric Sister Auga Mittermire or paladin Sister Klavissa Norand from St. Laphest’s Open Arms. This is a location detailed in the Secrets of the Delver’s Guild. If you haven’t checked out this extra supplement, you absolutely should. There is a really unique additional adventure hook included in St. Laphest’s Open Arms you should also check out for a side adventure.
Keygan Ghelve, the gnome locksmith, could be added as a new NPC and business or he could be changed to the existing Ptolus locksmith Wilian Barrow of Wilian’s Keys. I will make him a new NPC and Location since Ptolus can easily have multiple locksmiths.
The Campaign Seed where Lord Vhalantru turns people to stone that threaten him could be used as any other group of Delvers in the city. You could seed mentions of a group disappearing in the Labyrinth, or being promoted by this Noble and sent on a quest outside the city. It would be really meaningful if a Delver the PCs know was turned to stone whom they could then save one day.
The Cagewrights / The Shackleborn should just be a new organization in the city as they are unique and don’t fit into any existing Ptolus ones.
Carceri Gate City. If you’re using the Ptolus Prison Plane concept this could just be a gate to something beneath the earth. Or it could be a limited demi plane. If you’re not using the Prison Plane aspect, then you can have it actually be Carceri.
The Last Laugh, a local guild of thieves, could be a new group. Or you could tie them into the Longfingers Thieves Guild. I plan to make it a new guild which is in conflict with Longfingers.
The Church of St. Cuthbert on Obsidian Avenue can be changed to any other Lothian (or other deity) church you want to use. I’m going to use one closest to the Warrens for my Ugly Inc. campaign.
Ruphus Laro should just be a new NPC you introduce.
The church’s high priest, Sarcem Delasharn, is attending ceremonies at the High Temple of St. Cuthbert in a distant capital city. Jenya runs things in her master’s absence. I will be using both these NPCs but simply making Sarcem an important cleric which Jenya is a second in command for. Sarcem reappears in Part 2 fo the Schakled City called Flood Season. It doesn’t make sense to make Sarcem be a super high level member of the Church of Lothian.
Fario Ellegoth and Fellian Shard are pretending to be investigators of the City Watch. They work for Meerthan Eliothlorn, a high-ranking member of a neutrally aligned organization called the Striders of Fharlanghn. I’m going to make this a new organization in Ptolus that likely no one has heard of. I plan to change Fharlanghn (the god of roads and horizons) to be the Ptolus god Rajek the Wanderer. So they will be the Striders of Rajek instead of Fharlanghn.
Revus Twindaggers should just be a new NPC.
The Drowning Morkoth Inn could be the ghostly minstrel or…
Campaign Seed: The Vanishing of Jzadirune. The gnome enclave, and it’s magic items would be cool to seed ahead of time. Maybe the PCs try to buy something but it’s extra expensive because it was from Jzadirune. Again, you could also say it was part of Dwarvenhearth. You could even say the gnomes worked for Dwarves. Depending on the timeline you want to use, you could also say the gnomes were slaves to Ghul. Or even that the enclave had been totally forgotten over time. Or the Vanishing actually took people’s memories of the place too. The vanishing could also be a cool thing to introduce to scare adventures. People find magic items that make them disappear. Warning to Delvers.
The Vanishing from the Dreaming Apothecary. I’m teasing the idea that the Vanishing was actually created by the Dreaming Apothecary because they didn’t appreciate the competition.
When the gnomes abandoned Jzadirune, they left the dwarves to maintain the Malachite Fortress. Their leader, a righteous dwarves’ defender named Zenith Splinter shield, foolishly decided to wage a campaign against the Underdark. He took his best fighting dwarves into the bowels of the world and was never seen again. This would be another great Dwarvenhearth connection.
Captured! This could easily be used to start the Out of the Abyss module.
Prisoners: The prisoners in M18 and M27 (forge) could have wanted posters hung up from their families trying to find them. It would be good to have the PCs know one of them prior to their disappearance. A reward for one of the captured people could also give you a chance to reward the PCs additionally.
Learn More about all 12 Parts of the The Shackled City Adventure Path from Paizo on Wikipedia.
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Until next time, stay out of the Shadow of the Spire.