I've known groups of players that are just what this sort of scenario is supposed to address ("Kill 'em all, let the gods sort them out!"). I've also known groups that were the complete opposite ("We shouldn't attack until we're sure the pirates are going to betray us."). Either extreme is maddening for the GM.
On one hand, if your goal is to broker a cease-fire between two hostile groups, only a fool would start by slaughtering some of the other side to open negotiations. On the other hand, if it's not clear how dangerous the attacking group is, you can't blame the PCs for defending themselves. I've seen scenarios that expected the party to subdue attackers, despite the fact that the party was woefully ill-equipped for such a task.
I am not overfond of the "you meet too many of them to fight" situation. I've been subjected to scenarios that repeatedly surrounded me with overwhelming force to force me to parley. That can become a "rail job", especially when there are compelling roleplaying reasons why the characters wouldn't cooperate with the desired plot. They should at least have the chance to flee ignominiously (and fail the mission). Go to Comment
There I was minding my own business, when I saw your clock. NOW I've got to figure out how I can fit it into a game soon. Making all that extra work for folks by posting stuff we can't resist using... Hmph!
I particularly appreciate the tone you set on this one! The names and language used work well together, with a "pulp" fantasy feel, vaguely reminiscent of Weird Tales authors like Robert Howard or Clark Ashton Smith.
I hope that someone cleans away the special characters! Adding space between the paragraphs would also help it scan better. Go to Comment
Just the sort of thing that could make my players poison my pizza, but I'll take the risk...
I occurs to me that in a world where the ability to detect magic is common, minor magical items that could screw things up would also be more common (e.g.: When he expects that he might be 'scanned' by a mage, he'll pull out a potion before the encounter and chug it, causing him to radiate magic...) Go to Comment
I don't know what to make of this one. The weapon seems like the maker must have gone to a lot of effort without a good reason. Why the mage would make a weapon that could barely support its own weight is another good question.
The post has a lot of errors. Even the name seems wrong: It sounds like you meant Sword of False Prophecy. Go to Comment
If rewritten, I suspect that it would play out as follows:
An oppressive baron, Tersh Aliet, was shot down by a vengeful serf. This event triggered a general uprising by the local villeins, which was brutally put down by the Baron’s loyal household troops. Afterward, the remaining serfs were massacred by the Baron’s men. The castle (Aliet Manor) and its surrounding village were abandoned and allowed to fall to ruin. They acquired a reputation as being haunted by the restless spirit of the Evil Baron.
Presumably, the manor was deemed inconsequential by the Crown, or it would not have been allowed to fall into decay. It may have been constructed in an outdated design or have some other flaw that would render it easily reduced by an organized military force.
A century later, a group of bandits moved into the decaying manse. Their leader, Riryd Daros, disregarded the tales of the castle’s haunting. He should not have, as he has been possessed by the spirit of the dead baron. (In all likelihood, they have some traits in common.) Those of the bandits that retain some moral sensibility have been receiving disturbing visions of the old baron and his evil deeds. They are starting to sense that allowing their leader to leave the area in his strange “humour” would unleash some dire threat.
The Baron’s ghost gains more power with every murder his host commits. He hopes to gain enough control and power to break the ties that keep him at the site of his murder. Now a supernatural entity, he retains the cruelty and ambition that dominated him while alive.
The player characters become involved when they hear of increased predation by bandits in the area, or they may be contacted by one of the bandits, a fearful man who is having moral qualms about their leader’s ominous change of heart. Go to Comment
My first reaction is to say something flippant, but I would guess that the author of this sub is a young person who hadn't tried something like this before and I don't want to be negative or unhelpful.
This item needs a lot of work. Previous commentors have brought up most of the relevant issues. Go to Comment
I'm not going to be using these in a game, not because I don't like them (I do!) but because my players would hate me after I inflicted all the annoying collateral goofiness that they inspire... Go to Comment
The comments that this inspired are perhaps the most interesting part of the sub. The initial "encounters" are evocative and traditionally "Lovecraftian". Variations on this theme aren't uncommon.
I'm not as pleased by the conclusions offered. The original description didn't elaborate, saying "It's bad, it's scary, it killed off the town..." without giving details. The proposed conclusions help, but the PCs should have the opportunity to figure out more about the monster. Perhaps the local priest wrote some notes about what happened: They were burned in his final moments, but a few pages survived... A local hedge wizard had a plan for binding the creature, but could not gather all the materials needed before he, too, fell.
Perhaps the thing only strikes at a particular time or under certain conditions, such as after Aldebaran rises, or when clousds cover the moon. Give the players the impression that it's a race against time for them to gather everything needed to deal with the horror before it comes for them. Go to Comment
There could be several reasons why the bandit has a fake map. He might have been taken in by someone selling the fake ("You can't fool an honest man", he said as he walked off with the bandit's money...), he could have been planning to sell it himself, or it might just have become outdated ("I saw that guy bury the sack about here! Hand me the shovel, Clem!")
Royal Assassin, please fix the title. Typos happen, but I'm not sure that I want to fight a Goup of bandits... Sounds icky. Go to Comment
The bard's apprentice then interrupted his tale with another of the boy's frequent questions. "What was this gift, this accursed thing? What had the power to bring down an entire city?"
"Some say the gift was a weapon, a razor-keen sword that drove the king to madness, filling him with fear of betrayal. Others claim that the present was a woman, a living, breathing statue of such beauty that none could look upon her without coveting her. I have my doubts about those theories, however.”
“What do you think, teacher?” the youth inquired.
“There are tales that within the ruins of the king’s palace, a strange swan of golden hue still dwells, fiercely attacking all who enter the place. It is said that this swan is a harbinger of evil, a beast of uncanny supernatural power with the ability to transform men into swans with its bite.”
I’ve heard you tell this tale before, teacher, but the last time, you said it was a duck. Which is it: A duck or a swan?”
“It’s a swan, as I just told you! I was once told that it was a duck, but a swan sounds better, boy. When will you learn that the tale that sounds better is the one that brings us coin? Foolish boy!”
All it needs is a Shakespearean love triangle, and one of the noblemen exchanging places with his servant so that he can secretly woo his inamorata....
I suspect that my players would throw things at me... Go to Comment