Looks like we're going with:
- mostly dungeon with a shell of wilderness around it.
- a temporarily stable town setting which will move after a number of sessions (a ship or a caravan-turned-temporary-trading-camp or a pilgrimage, not sure yet.)
- a time limit (town will leave, and PCs need to go with it!)
- a ruins, so we get a sandboxy area for the characters to explore instead of a more linear dungeon.
- anything not explored when the time limit runs out will be left behind. The players can, of course, come back to it some other time.
- if we still need XP and loot, I'll have the caravan/ship/pilgrimage stop near a dungeon or lair on the way home.
- speaking of XP, we've got some requested changes, so I'll be working on a new set of XP house rules and see how they work.
I'll seed the players with rumors of the lost city, and some of what can be found within. There will be some generically lootable places, and at least one larger, more dangerous spot.
I still need to figure out if the "town" comes and goes (but won't be coming back after X number of visits), so we can have time pass normally outside the game, or if it's a cyclical thing and the players get dropped off and won't have a chance to go back to civilization if the miss the next bus. Like maybe the caravan comes through the area on the way to somewhere, and on the way back, and then there is a long gap between. Like the once-every-two years trip for a trading visit with the Bad Luck Tribe of the Little Yellow God, or to the elephant's graveyard (PCs welcome as guards, not as partners), or to some religious shrine that is only open for view once a decade or something.
One of those - so the PCs will have a base camp for a few sessions, maybe they can push it one more (and risk a lot of travel rolls on the way home trying to catch up), and then that's it. If they still want more adventuring before Felltower, well, they can stop at the Cold Fens on the way. Heh. Yes, somehow it's on the way home.
My vision is "jungle-wrapped ruins" but maybe I need to make it "forest-shrouded ruins." I'll decide soon.
Of course, the lost city has a name. Thanks to offline discussions, it shall be called . . .
The Lost City of D'Abo
Gerry & company will be there, soon . . .