I like the concept, but the story wraps up too quickly. As it stands, this would play out in little more than half an hour at our table.
This would play better in general if the living hand stays hidden for a while, and there are obvious other suspects, rivals, underworld, something to keep it going. These other suspects, depending on their power, are likely to be pretty annoyed that they are being unjustly accused of murder.
If I had to make this into an adventure, I would make the hand human, and something they find early, and don't make it move while they have it. Make sure they take it, though, maybe making it an obvious clue or something(symbol on the hand or something). So, the party takes it with them, and go around interviewing potential suspects. Each time as the party leaves, the hand pops out of their packs or whatever, and then strangles a new victim every time the party interviews them, making the party seem like the killers. Then they pretty much HAVE to solve these murders or become fugitives themselves. I'm not sure how the hand gets back to them each time, though... but, it's an idea(not a very good one, mind you). I guess I just like putting my guys in harms way and having them figure it out. If the hand is too obvious, you can't really play out the scenario for too long. Go to Comment
I like this one too. It actually gives a reason for someone to have that thing. Personally, I would make it an item that the party is attacked with. Once they dispatch the beastie, they find little treasure, save for this magical lamppost club thingy, and, of course, go to find out what the story behind it is. Presumably that would happen at Ye Olde Magic Shoppe(affectionately known as "MagiKMart" to our players), where the shopkeeper relays the tale of the Lantern Valley, and other possible hooks(rumors, etc) from that place.
(Side note, there is quite an amusing typo in the above, might want to correct it: "to CURRY favour"... I'm fairly confident you didn't mean the lord mayor liked indian cuisine.) Go to Comment
Well slap me silly and feed me key lime pie. I always thought it was "CARRY favor". I actually went to various outside dictionaries to get a concensus on that one after you corrected me. Well, when you're right, you're right. Kudos. Sorry about that. Try to make a joke and end up being the one laughed at, but not because the joke was funny. DAMMIT! Hate it when that happens. ;) Go to Comment
Hey, maybe there should be a magical item based on the notion that there are two ways to successfully bypass a trap, the hard way(actually searching for and disarming it), and the EASY way, "once more into the breach" etc, some hapless soul who's very job it is to disarm traps by setting them off. If my party had a magic item like that, it would be nigh impossible to get them to actually investigate things on their own, they'd just have "Mikey"(the trap finding automaton) run down the corridor or poke his fingers into trapped chest locks or open doors with gas traps on them or whatever.
I'm afraid to even run with this idea for fear that "mikey" actually shows up in a game I'm running or playing in. If I lend it substance by actually writing it up, it almost demands that I actually use it in a game. ;) Go to Comment
It's innocuous but when used with plot hooks, could prove very interesting. I like the "missing birthmark" thing. Some heir is dismissed as not having the appropriate birthmark. Could be the start of quite a few "rightful throne" adventures. ;) 4/5 Go to Comment
Hey, Wogden, that's a decent plot mover(the pharmaceutical comment above). Admittedly, what follows is kind of stolen pretty much directly from Dune, but what the hell. So there's a specific place in the world, that, for whatever reason, is the only place some component of some generically useful magic item(potion of healing? eg) is found or grows or whatever(like the spice on Arakis(sp? forgive me, not a big dune fan). Whoever controls that area of the world can control the entire world, basically, by constricting the ability of others to make use of that component to create the necessary item.
Maybe it's something more generic than a potion of healing component, maybe it's something more basic than that, like control of fire itself, for example(or water, air(maybe like "Total Recall")). The basis for fire in the world is found in something that ONLY exists in a certain part of the world. If that "pipeline" is shut off, every fire on the planet goes out. Someone can literally control all fire in the world(a fairly basic component of "modern" life). Or air, water, etc.
Ok, sue me, it's just a really broad thought, haven't put much thought into it. ;) Feel free to run with it, though. Go to Comment
I kind of like the idea of a skinless person running around, like Hellraiser before he grows his new skin. Imagine running into a mine of skinless miners and the party just assumes they are some new form of undead, and immediately sets about "sending the heathens to the pit of hell from whence they came", and then, woops... sorry!
I did that to my guys one time(in a different way). I left all sorts of clues that the bad guy was some noble who had withdrawn into his manor, and his servants never came back, and then they find bodies with blood drained and so on, EVERYTHING to indicate that a vampire was at fault. Of COURSE our noble and courageous paladin fell for it hook line and sinker. So, I set the scene, they open double doors onto a sinister, pale looking old man sitting in a chair in front of the fireplace. The paladin RUSHES in, CONVINCED it's the vampire they seek, and promptly severs the guy's head in basically one swipe. It was only at THAT time that he realized "that was too easy..." Sure enough, he had slain an innocent. The old man was simply that, an old man who was infirm and senile. "woops." says the paladin... woops is right, sez me. It took him a while to atone for that one. ;) Go to Comment
I had a thought about the ring of contraception... could such a device be really useful to a mideaval whore? I mean, how much value would NOT having children be, in that line of work? I have this visual that johns weren't terribly picky about the pregnancy status of their whores at the time, but maybe it's just a visual I have.
Could one create a plot surrounding the desire to obtain a ring like this for a whorehouse? The ring to be transferred from whore to whore to prevent conception of children? Maybe some thieves guild plot to increase the value of their whores, or something? Maybe the rival guilds are jealous of the prices the whores command, and some turf war breaks out? I dunno, just a thought... Go to Comment
Windows systems, Hold down ALT, and then press(on the numeric keypad only) the ANSI code of the character you want to appear. I don't know what the accented E is, but the 1/2 symbol is ALT-171... e'... give it a whirl... works in anything ansi based, pretty much(including notepad).
Brother Maynard, Consult the book of ANSI!! Book of Ansi, Appendix A, Codes 145 thru 191... and yea, verily there was a symbol for clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds, an accented A, an umlauted O, and the mighty circumflexed N, and the lord spake unto the masses and said, go forth and create strange names for Strolen's Citadel, and it was so, and the lord was pleased.
About the urchin, I like the character in theory, but I'd prefer to know where the lie detection comes from, and I have to take away a point for the "orphan" bit. Still, most of my characters are fairly cliche'd, so I have no room to complain about that, so, all in all, 4/5.
Well done, overall, although I must admit to having little use for street urchins, as a generality. For whatever reason, my players tend to completely ignore the peasantry, they're big time adventurers now, dontchaknowit... ;) Go to Comment
What happens to adventurers who spend more than a few weeks there? Do they adapt to their environment, fins, gills, lower center of gravity, loss of firm muscle, elasticity, stuff like that?
Just FYI, evolution is a result of changing environment most often, more than anything else. Even with the prescence of magic, it is likely that evolution would stagnate in a single environment. If you want to use the evolutionary aspect of this, may I suggest making the swamp change dramatically as a result of the magic, and allow the creatures to adapt magically as well. One week you find a mountain stretching to the sky(arctic conditions), next week it's a forest, next it's a swamp, next there's volcanos and such, but the creatures somehow survive. Maybe there's like 4 shifts worth of changes in any creature, making it part swamp creature, part mountain creature, part arctic, and so on, depending on what just happened. There could be an array of truly bizarre but explained creatures in there, with parts from many different creatures all hodgepodged into one, like a platypus or something(but even more bizarre)
MAYBE if you go that route, if a person can observe, from the outside, they can discern a pattern of the magic changes and perhaps predict what changes a denizen could expect to face. Maybe they need a specific set of abilities from the PCs, and if they agree, they must study the swamp to find the appropriate time to enter the swamp to get the changes they want. Fire resistance, cold tolerance, poison spit, water adaptations, you could make up a laundry list of things a PC would need to accomplish some goal, then send him in, have him change, and go for some mission, after which they can be magically altered back to normal. Go to Comment
The only problem with an arms race scenario is that it has an upper bound. Eventually, one side will grow a weapon so awesomely good at dealing with the opposition that they will wipe out their opponents, or their opponents won't be able to breach their defenses. You quickly reach the point of the immovable rock vs the infinite force. We see this in nature all the time, creatures with no natural predators.
I like the concept, it's workable, but if you go that route, then very quickly the denizens of the area are going to be killing and defensive machines.
Most importantly, to be realistic, you're going to ALSO have things that are so ultra-specialized in their ONE prey species that they will be an utter CAKEWALK for any group of standard humans. With that degree of specialization comes a price, and the price is lack of generality, the lack of dealing with the new things that come along.
Unless, of course, the party comes along and starts doing their thing and finds the creatures adapting at an astounding rate. At some point, the creatures the party is fighting are effectively immune to all attack forms, and the predators may dine at their liesure. If you go that route, make SURE you provide a reasonable avenue of escape, otherwise you're looking at a TPK(total party kill).
Maybe that is the time limit of any scenario. The party must complete their mission and escape the area BEFORE the creatures fully adapt to their prescence. If they wait too long, death will become all but an inevitability. Nothing like a hard deadline to motivate a party, huh? ;) Go to Comment
I was working under the suspension of disbelief that the evolution was "magical" in nature. If he's talking about a week to make a change as described in his comments about the frog and the fly, suffice it to say, the adaptations are going to happen at a "borg-like" pace. I wanted to grant that magic could do wacky stuff, including evolving creatures at the rate of millions of years of evolution in a week's time.
In a place like this, it seems only logical that a creature facing sharp swords and piercing arrows and blunt clubs would adapt to avoid taking that sort of damage somehow, and in very short order.
I'm open to other concepts, of course, but taken logically, I can't see any other realistic option, given the setup of the scenario. Besides, wouldn't it be cool to have an environment react to you specifically and not just you in the generic?
Off topic, but... Hey, maybe there's a dungeon that conflicts with itself as the party passes by. The walls read the emotions and interests of the people passing, and try to construct a pleasing image on the walls, but the conflicting goals and ambitions of the party are likewise reflected in a painting that fights with itself for control and space. Hrm. Kind of too small for a plot, maybe just for flavor. Go to Comment
This definitely is something I hope to steal. A sage with a reason to be curmudgeonly. Most of my sages are simply bookworms with very little personality beyond the typical "adjust the spectacles, mousey guy" bit.
You know why I can use this? It substantially differs from the norm, and I don't have to make it up for someone I consider to be a bit player in our game. This is truly useful. 5/5
OH! Make him a double agent. He gets to adventure without leaving his home! The bad guys hire him to spread faulty information to the PCs, things that would actually assist the bad guys but seem like they help the good guys, after they learn the PCs have availed themselves of his services. Of course, it would have to be very innocuous disinformation, otherwise he'd be discovered as the weak link rather quickly. And if he is discovered, he can just as easily betray the bad guys in an innocuous way, saying "I found that information in this book, a recent acquizition from the big bad evil guys, who I didn't know were big bad evil guys, honest! It's not my fault!" The bad guys pay him by making him the focus of a courageous book, they write of "Phineas' exploits", like "Thanks to the cunning Phineas, the group found what they are looking for... etc etc" That way, he's not reading about what others had done, he's reading about what HE did, and he loves it. Go to Comment
You know what's cool about this setting? You can insert it as a simple flavor encounter, and then hook all sorts of things in there after the fact.
My guys would find no END of things to suppose about a place like this. It would be something mysterious and intrigueing that simply MUST be investigated further.
I would probably insert this into the middle of a river journey(they do a lot of river travelling), and just have it "be there", especially when they are off on something else. They would stay the night and wake up and be like, "what the...??" and they'd want to return to figure out what the hell happened.
You know what would be cool? Some sort of ethereal travel scenario. The house burned down with someone in it with important information or something of intrinsic value that would have gotten destroyed in the fire(scroll, map, etc). That item can ONLY be found by going ethereal and joining the ghosts on that plane, where the house has REAL substance, as it stood before it was burned down.
They go back to the house, spend another night of revelry, and wake up in the morning to find it gone, and some guy standing there requesting of them that they go find something specific in the house or something, but in order to actually bring it back, they have to visit the ethereal plane and actually grab it from there.
You know why I like this setting? A plot instantly popped into my head for this specific setting, at least the rough concept. If you don't mind, I'll work up something more specific, or heck, you can run with this. (I don't know what the etiquette is for using someone else's settings,etc as a basis for another entry.) Go to Comment
In a small, genetically isolated region it is not uncommon for the locals to have three arms. The third arm is generally a second right arm that is a good bit weaker than a normal arm and is generally held against the chest. This hird arm is most often used to carry small things, though some of the more skilled craftsmen have learned little tricks with their third arm.