How about this for an idea: the tattoos of the cult were intended to bind him to the will of cult (he sounds like the sort of person who'd be very useful to a dark cult). Unfortunately for them, the spell was such that someone has to conciousless assert their will over the tattooed victim: as Wasp slew them all before they realised he had regained consciousness he foiled their plan. Two possible uses for this are:
a) The cult wasn't unique: this leaves Wasp vulnerable to falling under the sway of the followers of this dark god should he come across them again.
b) Someone else could recognise the tattoos and assume that Wasp is a minion of this dark cult. They would then presumably try to kill him, get him locked up or panic, depending on their temperament. Go to Comment
A non-munchkin way to take out DarkSteel (or at least to prevent it damaging your city) would be to dig a big hole. This could actually be used as an interesting setting for a roleplay adventure. Note, I am basing the following on your statement that:
"I could see a city have a few weeks if not more to prepare for an upcoming visit by DarkSteel" as well as the fact that you can predict the course of DarkSteel to some extent (i.e. it roughly goes in a straight line).
Suppose that in a certain year, a report comes in from the distant edges of the kingdom that DarkSteel has once again been sighted in the neighbouring country and appears to be heading this way. After a week or so it becomes clear that he is heading to the kingdom; furthermore, it appears that there is quite a high chance (30-40%) that he will go through the capital. Let's say this is about two or three weeks before he would reach the capital.
The young king is idealistic, and decides that instead of evacuating he will try and defend his glorious city. Maybe he is partly motivated by the fact that a major city in the kingdom was totally ruined by DarkSteel a couple of centuries ago. He makes plan to dig a huge trench, 50m deep, 70m wide and a mile or two long in front of the capital (Note that it only has to have a vertical side on one side - the other side can slope down (making it easier to dig): DarkSteel would then walk down, not be able to get up the 50m high barrier and then probably turn 90 degrees, walk along the trench and then comes out, but now heading in a direction that won't make him intersect the city.
The king calls in the army (5000-10000 people at least) and presses in to service much of the labour of the city (probably not too hard if he pays them - one sort of labour is as good as any other). Remember, he's idealistic so he's not going to stint at spending money: he pays to get in expert diggers and anything else he needs. He should be able to get a force of 30 000 men or so working on it or more, which would easily be enough to dig the trench (even assuming zero magical aid). It also presumes the city isn't built on hard bed-rock.
Anyway, give your PCs a role in organising this: huge numbers of people, coordinating labour, dealing with the inevitable panicking people (as some will) and dealing with the problems of people abandoning houses (which might cause crime) as you suggested. Go to Comment
Assuming the hole is roughly triangular, each man would need to dig about 350 cubic feet a day, or about 35 cubic feet an hour. 35 cubic feet is just over 1 cubic metre. I'm pretty sure I could dig that out in an hour just with a spade. Remember too, they might have a) more than two weeks (Moonhunter said several), b)more than 30 000 men (Rome had a population in the hundreds of thousands) and c) magical aid. Of course, it will be a mammoth undertaking (and one that may not work), but I think it is definitely possible, just difficult. Go to Comment
I like it - especially it's small and unassuming appearance. "Oh look, we've found a hard rock." You could imagine it sitting unnoticed on a museum shelf or something. There are so many ways you could base a campaign round it, ranging from just general mythic background to setting a campaign on a world in which the starseed has just been buried.
Another potential use: presumably if you put it inside an ancient star it would rejuvenate it just as it would a planet, thus giving it new billions of years of life. An ancient race whose home planet's star is dying could be searching the universe for the Starseed in order to do this. Go to Comment
Those are all really good ideas about removing the curse. I'm just trying to think of a way of combining them (i.e. would it be possible to cherish the bow for a year (Strolen) whilst not using it (Shadoweagle)? Possibly; cherishing could just include things like correctly oiling the wood (and other such things to keep it in good condition) daily whilst giving praise to the bowmaker. Go to Comment
Excellent - far better than the usual generic "potions of courage" and a worthy addition to any world. A PC who drank this (if he role-played well) would cause great difficulties to the party as well as advantages. Go to Comment
I think this character is brilliant. The novel background (along witht he potential that there may be other archons around that Gray doesn't know of), combined with the sympathetic link with the alchemist and Gray's own warped personality from her torture and wanderings all add up to produce a totally original character. Go to Comment
Very nice indeed. An unusual minor item that is genuinely extremely useful. I guess you could extend the effect to your trousers to, to help with leg wounds.
To add to Shadoweagle's "killer army":
Your military band will need to be using the Drums of the Inferno march. Not only do they allow the army to march for days without tiring, carrying the battle in to the heart of the enemy, they also confer fire resistance and even have offensive capabilities. Go to Comment
A fair point Captain! I was going to come back and add some story, but after reading Strolen's comment I decided not to. This is because Strolen has basically described my intentions when I wrote it: this is a one-off short mission to be plopped in anywhere, rather than a whole campaign story.
However, when I used it, the king who sent them was Lord Niavon of Torridon (see npc), and the timing was one month before his fateful invasion of Siluria (the one that drove him mad). This was a crucial part of his preparations for the war. The barbaric tribe was the Wyvern Tribe of Orcs, a large and powerful tribe (made up of five clans) located in the south-east foothills of the Rhaetian mountains. Go to Comment
No, they're not supposed to let the attackers kill them. They are meant to drive them off, subdue them, disarm them or otherwise force them to surrender. It says the attackers are youths who are new to combat; in other words level 1 warriors who the PCs should be able to subdue (without killing) easily -if they think of it. Wounding a couple is OK (and, as stated, would cause them to surrender), as is maybe killing one, but not butchering them all. The PCs are meant to be peace envoys to these people after all. Go to Comment
Just to make it clear that the two links I have put in the "Great Library" section (to the glow lights and the withered hand) link to submissions by Moonhunter and Ephemeralstability respectively. I can remove these links if either of you object. Go to Comment
I tried not to be too specific about the colleges as a lot of them are named after gods specific to my campaign. A few non-god suggestions: Wenlock, Sedgwick, Atavus, Hobson (named after founders); Duke's, King's, Queen's (named after the duke/king/queen); Victory (founded after a famous victory); Servants' (originally founded for servants but now a full college), Priests' (originally (or still) a priest training college). Go to Comment
Wow, thanks for the extensions Manfred! I'm glad I've still got a few not very developed colleges which I can use to plop your ideas on to (such as the College of True Philosophy).
I also like the destroyed university - if it was destroyed by a magical catastrope, then the population and animals could have been bizarrely warped in to weird new forms (some intelligent and some unintelligent. As you say, the Senior Masters would still be there, unaffected and a new type of community headed by them could have grown up in the ruins. As for the dungeon aspect of the library: it sounds great: a dungeon hack in a building lined with thousands of books of magic, all there for the taking: providing you can understand them and that the magical accident that occurred hasn't warped them. If I ever leap a millenium in to the future in my roleplay world I will definitely use this. Go to Comment
A simple flag, faded by time and sun, tattered and worn by untold years flying from the pole of a bannerman, passing hands from officer to officer, from one generation to another. It is a humble symbol of great importance, and greater inspiration to those who see it. Soldiers become heros filled with espirit de corps, enemies loose their nerve and fire. It is not an enchanted item, but a powerful item still...