a barely-started-but-I-did-the-research sequel to Treasures of the Savage Frontier
Null Null, out of curiosity, when you say you did the research, do you mean you were looking into the setting and characters and exploring story ideas? Or did you find existing hints of where the developers had planned to go with this series. I always felt that the Savage Frontier games were meant to be a trilogy. But by the time Treasures was released, SSI was ready to move on from the Gold Box engine.
I'll share it in case someone else wants to take up this idea.
Sort of both. I knew they weren't making any Gold Box games anymore and they had counted Neverwinter Nights as the second of the trilogy. But I felt the Savage Frontier didn't really have the epic closure the other two had. In the Krynn series, you travel to the Abyss and just barely avoid facing the Dark Queen herself. In the Pools series, you travel back to Phlan where you began, meet the clerk, and drive off Bane 'for good'. At the end of Treasures you fight a big dead dragon. Whatever.
So my thought was, what characters, organizations, and places are introduced in the first two that could be touched on again in the 'unmade finale'? And what official TSR material is available to keep this centered in the Realms of the era, rather than just my own creation? If SSI had wanted to make a 3rd game, what could they have done?
I took notes from the 'Savage Frontier' sourcebook which Gateway was meant to promote (much as Dark Queen was supposed to promote Time of the Dragon, about Taladas in Krynn) and 'The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier', figuring anything after that was too 2nd-ed (plus you have to stop somewhere), as well as a little from the 'Waterdeep and the North' for Waterdeep itself.
Treasures ends with the party escaping the Masters of Hellgate Keep. Treasures included a lot of renamed special items without special properties like the Golden Battle Axe and the ShearHammer that would have been a pain to put in and used up all the text space. The Blackrobed enemies from the end of Treasures had almost equally powerful items. I would thus have had the party captured by the Hellgate Keepers, stripped of their items, and prepared to be executed (explaining why they don't have their items from Treasures), when the Keep is destroyed by the elves as in the Hellgate Keep module (I know, the module is 2nd ed and hence post-Time of Troubles), allowing me to use the map in the module and allowing the party to have a chance of fighting their way out. The Blackrobed enemies from the end of Treasures thus serve as a good source of decent items to equip the party for the rest of the game.
When you escape, you find that the Zhentarim are cut off from their home base in the Moonsea due to a strange set of storms blocking all entrance and Zhentil Keep being overrun by drow (these are, of course, the events of Pools of Darkness). You then have a choice of going after the Hosttower, the Krakens, or the Zhentarim before the finale.
With the Hosttower on the ropes, Redleg of Ruathym and the captains of the North decide to do something about the piracy problem once and for all. You lead a large force to lay waste to Luskan (one of the few locations to be in both Gateway and Treasures) and storm the Hosttower, killing Arklem Greeth.
In Gateway, we are introduced to the miserable people of the Purple Rocks, oppressed by the Kraken Society. We never really get a chance to do anything about it. Well, time for some heroics! You sail to the Purple Rocks and crash into their headquarters at the head of an army, culminating in an underwater battle with the kraken Slarkrethel.
Gateway uses Curse's code, Treasures Pools' code. You can see this with the transferability of characters (yes, you can take your 35th level mage into Treasures and he will be able to drop a Delayed Blast Fireball on the monsters in Geildarr's keep) and some of the monsters and art. What would be the equivalent for post-Treasures? Well, FRUA uses a lot of Dark Queen of Krynn's code, and the graphics are in many ways more 'advanced' with the gray border and preselected icons. How about using the underwater mode to reuse the underwater monsters and set up a climactic fight with the Kraken?
Finally, you are informed there is a way to deal with Zhentil Keep. Despite the storms, there is a gate into the Keep somewhere in the depths of Undermountain. This allows the party to finally visit Waterdeep, instead of just hanging around a smuggler's dock nearby like in Treasures. You pass through Undermountain, where you meet the mad mage Halaster, who tells you he will take you into Zhentil Keep if you will let him loot Manshoon's laboratory. Just as you are opening the gate, out comes a terrified Manshoon (who you can fight, of course). You then pass through the gate and find the ruins of Manshoon's upper tower. You then have the option to fight the Heroes of Phlan...
Anyway I wasn't too sure how to really crown this ridiculous piece of fanfiction in a way that would have satisfied my 13-year-old self who was disappointed at the lack of a sequel to Treasures. Maybe have them go to Acheron and fight Bane or something.