Arrogance comes to mind. The idea that "If I have fallen so far that my younger self can defeat me, I am no longer worthy to live," or perhaps "I shall defeat even Death! By then, my magical researches will have given me the ability to return from mere corporeal destruction."
The world is full of people who presume upon the future, confident in future events that may or may not occur as planned. Go to Comment
Good Job! Each of the options given could produce a challenging adventure.
I picture the evil double sharing any damage done to it with the priest, so that the PCs need to find some way to overcome it that doesn't depend on swordplay.
In the third option, the deceiving demon might have planted evidence to implicate the priest in evil deeds, so that the adventurers are more likely to kill the good man without hearing his explanations. Perhaps the thing can't enter the sacred ground of the temple, but once innocent blood has been spilled there... Go to Comment
Slatterbite is just the sort to send adventurers after an innocent preacher, especially if the man has spoken against his persecution of women and the "unrighteous". He'd probably leave his mask and staff behind for such a task, appearing as a simple yeoman farmer.
Alternatively, a rulebound and judgmental clergyman might find the vengeful man and his Staff of Scorn as his allies, recruiting others to "drive out those adventurers that spit upon our ways and prey upon innocent priests!" Go to Comment
Some regions may be known for wines and cordials made from fruits and berries other than grapes. England was once known for its ciders, and the people of many lands enjoyed flagons of mead. Methyglyns (spiced meads), melomels (fruit-flavored mead), pyment (honey-sweetened wines), hippocras (spiced pyment), and other drinks may be popular.
Historically, some wines were produced specifically for export, fortified with additional alcohol to prevent spoilage, such as Spanish wines intended for England. Go to Comment
The Helm of Iccan
A slightly-archaic helmetwith a visor that fastens securely closed, at first glance, the Helm of Iccan appears to be a useful piece of war gear. This sturdy helm was originally designed to keep prisoners from using their magical abilities, but it was lost for some decades and its true purpose was forgotten.
When the wearer attempts to concentrate on anything, the helm's enchantment causes his nose to itch fiercely. This prevents any sort of successful spellcasting. Worse yet, once placed on the head and secured, the visor's catch cannot be unfastened by the wearer. Go to Comment
The Clapper Swords
Most fighters are unsure what to make of these intricately-decorated, exotic blades. They look much like standard broadswords, but have two smaller, spinning blades attached, resembling pinwheels fastened to either side of the main blade. The spinning blades do make the weapon awkward to wield, spinning and rattling as the weapon is swung. An energetic fighter can get the secondary blades to spin at a rapid pace, at which point they begin making a loud clapping noise that resonates through the blade.
Legend says that swords of this design were once wielded by the Champions of the Bright, a formidable force of warriors. While they carved their way to fame using these noisy weapons, their unique combat style has been lost of the centuries since they flourished. Without the special training techniques of these warriors, their swords are simply heavier, clumsier, noisier swords.
This hasn't stopped various would-be heroes from periodically pulling these awkward swords out, clapping their way into the annals of history. Go to Comment
A tale of unfortunate ambition, as many of my favorites are.
It seems that this intangible creature is not so much a golem, as a bound nexus of magical power. As difficult to detect as it is, its presence could affect other magical operations, leading some to investigate further.
Once discovered, the secrets of the void golem could draw enchanters into all sorts of strange entanglements: The unscrupulous would readily kill to control a power that could reach into their enemies' very sanctums. Go to Comment
Unique! The idea of building a golem powered by a large hourglass is an amusingly quirky notion. I have no idea what would have led to such a thing, but sometimes magic should be whimsical. Go to Comment
A sort of tar-baby golem... This is one that the PCs might not expect, especially since the exterior could have a variety of substances coating it. It gives me this image of a "Stay-Puf Marshmallow" golem.
I particularly liked the helm. A wizard's tower situated among the tar pits could be an interesting battlefield...
The mage raises his arms, crackling with eldritch power, and shapes begin to rise from the black pools. Midnight-black figures shamble from the depths of the tar, distorted humanoid things shambling toward you...Go to Comment
An interesting device. I could see mantis holy symbols turning up periodically, reminding people of the extinct insect cult. In a place where the religious authorities actively investigate heterodox views and heretics, simply having such an item could cause problems.
If someone possessing one of the enchanted insects entered the ruins of one of the sect's temples, the visit might activate long-dormant secondary programming within the enchanted mantis, triggering unexpected effects when they speak the command word. Go to Comment
I'd suggest some more detail about the layout, purposes, and defenses of each area. Are there interesting NPCs to encounter in each area?
More could be done about how they control the island's movement: Are there areas dedicated to that? Are there cultists responsible for maintaining the magic?
How can someone land on the island and what defenses will they encounter?
What sort of doom awaits in the Forest of Death? Do the cultists hold ceremonies at the Tomb of Fallen Jarvin? Is it defended by undead or other horrors? Perhaps Jarvin stole precious relics of the church when he fell from grace: Useless to the cultists, they are believed to have been entombed with him. Go to Comment
I tried to step back a bit from the intrusive "Room One" through "Room Five" format. Despite this, it follows the format fairly closely: The only exception was where the victims are first found. I had originally planned to have one burst open in a shower of spiderlings, but decided against that.
As will be obvious to most, this was inspired by the Cthulhoid writings of H. P. Lovecraft and his various imitators, along with the ALIEN movies of Ridley Scott and John Cameron. I tried not to duplicate the films too closely, but even after reining myself in, there are obvious similarities. I can only hope that those reading this see this more as a homage than a ripoff. Go to Comment
A solid adventure in search of (Arrr, Matey!) pirates' gold. I like the basic premises and the wall of sand is a puzzle I haven't seen before.
The magical dopplegangers were an unexpected twist; if I were running this one, I'd give the PCs some sort of a hint about what to expect. Perhaps Gustav was known for an ally with potent magical powers (Betrayed in the end, alas! That's what comes of consorting with cutthroats!) or was reputed to have looted an ancient hoard of magic. Go to Comment
This one just doesn't work for me. There's some potential there, but in my opinion, there are several negatives that keep it from achieving that potential.
First, some of the positive things about the plot:
I like the names. They work well for me, each suggesting certain aspects of their owner's character, which the GM can play up or use for contrast.
The plot itself uses the five-room format well, giving a well-considered balance between combat and roleplaying. The challenges given encourage a variety of roleplaying styles.
Everything is well-written, clear, and easy to read.
Now the negatives:
"Blah, blah, blah, mighty magics, fight to the death, you know the drill..." The way the sub is written, it seems as if even the author was saying "Even I don't care about this." That's not a message the players and potential GMs want to hear.
The "drink laced with sleeping draught" schtick is not only ancient, it's not very effective. You can bet that if there is a saving throw, SOMEONE in the party will make it. If it's too high for anyone to make, it seems like a rail job to the players.
The "mysterious patron who wants to kill the PCs" is another hoary cliche that seldom works well in games. Go to Comment
I wasn't overwhelmed when I started reading, but by the time that I reached the dance competition, I was impressed. You found an original way to approach the "tough bar full of tough guys" meme, and for that I congratulate you.
At last, I have a way to punish the player I have that invariably takes "Perform: Dance" as one of his skills and breaks into a jig at the slightest provocation. Go to Comment
While I would have presented the same scenario very differently, a lot of the differences revolve around my personal prefernces as opposed to yours. I prefer to provide a lot of specific details (assuming that a GM can cut out the ones that don't fit), while your preference seemed to be to keep things generic, allowing the GM to fill in areas for their own world.
I would have like to see more specific information about why the necromancer has set himself up this way. He has set up secure doors which require passwords to enter, but no information is given about why he placed riddles to allow entrance. Is he just absentminded, and expects that he can command his own undead to give him the reminders as needed?
The necromancer called a meeting with a bunch of powerful associates. Why? Is he their minion, master, or associate? If this is an adventure for inexperienced characters, a room full of powerful mages could be an ugly encounter: Hopefully, they're not hostile ("You guys killed off Bob? OK! Bill, you owe me 20 gold pieces, you bet he wouldn't get himself killed until October."). Go to Comment