I think sometimes it "pays" to not be a native english speaker.... I was wrestling with the language to get the right feel across and this sort of just came out. It did not feel very right for what I wanted to express, but when I read over the lines again, it did give a reasonable feeling of the intended message.
Back to subject......
I agree that at first sight, I would consider a economy based on undead slaves to be evil as well. However.... Why? As pointed out by Ian, the undead slaves may very well improve the quality of life. Using undead slaves just is "tasteless", but when I think about it for a while, it need not be evil at all.
Because something is (a bit (?) ) out of the ordinary, that does not make it evil. I can very well imagine that very dangerous work could be carried out by undead... Perhaps one could think of a situation where you would use skeletons to retrieve the wreck of a sunken ship. Some of the work might require a "manager" or "work master" but still having the manual labour in such a hazardous enviroment done by undead might be a good idea.
(Think about sharks and other predators, but there are more dangers below the surface, air shortage... etc.)
Another area where I could think of employing undead (again the skeleton) is mining in a mine that is close to a vulcano with the risk of the mine being flooded by lava.
My personal preference for undead slaves in a enviroment where people meet the slaves would be skeletons at any rate. Think of the odur that would hang around a decomposing body.... Juck !! *shiver*
Not realy a appatizing thought I must say.
To be honest, I could not think of any enviroment where I would like to use zombies or any other dead body, that still is subject to decomposition, as a robot or slave.
The fist group of adventurers I brought together, where not as lucky that they could choose their friends or their employment.
They all where kidnapped by a group of pirates who where going to sell them on the nearest slave market.
Theirs was the choice, try to break free.... but..... There are too many pirates still aboard to just "leave" by yourself.
So the only real option they had was to break out, free the rest of the adventurers and then try to get of the ship.
Of course getting of a ship is not as easy as all that, as the cells are located on the lowest level.. Go to Comment
What if I feel you are very right in this particular case?
I must say that I am very happy with all the stuff that you have jotted down at the top end. I has given me some more perspective on being the DM and my tasks and how I should handle the situation I currently am in.
Depending on your style, you can probably see that the balance between DIP and DAS very much depends on how well you can improvise and how easy you find it to put some time in developing at a later moment in time.
The questions you pose, are next to impossible to answer in general. I know that all I need to start a adventure is just the map of a single city or town, but I do have to say that I had a general idea of what my players wanted before I started. I had been playing two sessions with my gamers before I started.
If you go to my website, I can give you a general idea of what I developed before play started. (www buton)
I developed the general concept of the world (History of Teolin), including the calender. (I needed the calendar, as that indicates the amount of light during the nights)
Besides that I developed the entire Pantheon, but that is actualy expanding...
In the world section I developed two islands.
I developed one ship, as I needed that for a adventure.
After character creation, I created another four islands, from which the different adventurers came and because of an error I made when developing Mercantie, I had to add another island where the sea-people meet the bi-pedal land dwellers.
From then on, it has been work in progress (i.e. DIP)
For me that works very well. But I know that the player that used to be DM feels this is a terible approach.
The big difference is that I have no fear for "winging it" where as he needs the knowledge as a assurance that everything will work out fine.
If we talk about a island during a session, I sometimes just come up with some basics for the island and then jot them down over session and create the island after the players landed there (happend once) Now my player would end the session before leaving for the island, as he did not yet know the name.
If my players would feel that things get out of hand, because I tend to wing it too much, I know they would tell me and I would change my style to prepare more, but so far it works very well for all of us.
Again, I have to warn you here. This works for me. It may very well work different for other people. Go to Comment
I have played in a level four game.... Only the challenges we faced where often designed for the entire group of seven players being a heavy challenge.
You can imagine what happens if in a situation like that some players do not show. (Usualy in such a group at least one of the players does not show if you play every week like we did.)
PC death was rather frequent. We once got nearly wipped of the floor when we met a fairly terrible monster. Everybody blamed me for running of, but in the end, it was I who had to feed everybody some potions to revive them, as the rest of the party was knocked down. (none of them lethal, which surprised us in the end.)
Then at the end of the session the GM cassualy tells you that the only reasonable course of action was to run away, as we could have handled the monster if we had been like double level or the group had been twentyone people.
I think I GM somewhere between level two and three. After all, if a player does a realy stupid thing... he/she dies.
If you single handedly want to kill a brown bear.... you stand the change that the brown bear will want to "dance" with you.... Go to Comment
Personaly I go with ephemeralstability and select clasical music very often.
Prokofiev, Scjostakovich, Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Tsjakovski, but also Grieg and Field.
Besides that various irish and scotisch folk music. My current favorite is a album by magna carta. This album is relased but a few months ago in the netherlands and I keep forgetting the name. Otherwise, the "lord of the ages" album remains a favorite in our group. Go to Comment
Let me first put forward that for many parts I do agree with moonhunter that very often players just tag along with each other because they happen to be PC's.
On the other hand, I have to say that seeing the processes going on in the game I happen to DM, there is more to this.
Two of my players know each other of old, they are friends from way back. One is a barbarian, the other a "borrowing person". When they wanted to set out to go goblin hunting, a cleric joined them. The barbarian went down quickly and was healed by the cleric. No wonder that the Barbarian did like the Cleric after that.
The cleric had little reason to trust the barbarian, until the barbarian bashed down some goblins that nearly killed the cleric.
Oke, the thief and cleric have little reason to trust each other, but they still have the linking pin of the barbarian. At any rate, the barbarian and thief like each other very much, so the thief will without a doubt trust the cleric, after saving her friend the barbarian.
In short: often eppic things happen when player characters meet. These things would in real life often be the reason for life long friendship and trust beyond the grave.
The only point is: often there is little reason to team up in the first place, but once the first hurldes have been taken, there often is little reason not to trust the rest, at least during battle. Go to Comment
Again here you have touched upon a good point. It is the players that most often generate the dramatic moment. However it is the GM who sets the stage and as such he must do the preperations.
A truly epic moment in a campaign or a adventure is only truly epic if it is recognized. The moster you talk about, may be a dramatic moment, but it was probably set and prepared carefully, by perhaps meeting the monster before or because other clues where scatered that this monster was a truly dangerous advesary.
I better make sure that I do a thing like that comming sunday, so I can have a climax at the end of the current adventure.
Thanks for brining up this subject at precisly the right time ;+))
I held the idea up to my player group and all of them found that it was rather a silly idea.
In the real world, it might do nice, but in the game world.... what is the use?
Especialy if you are still in the stage where your adventurers are on a traveling path and well ehhr in my group sex is not an isue... I see them flirt a little, but that is just about it.
Maybe in the real world, we would be very happy to have this, but I think most men are too chicken to ever take it. If they would, you would find out that they would never impose a pregnancy on their wife again.... Hmmm would be good for the world population. We do need to decline the human numbers to about half of what they are now... Go to Comment
It is great fun to see this item at work.
I can already see the looks on the face of the roque who is trying to sneak attack someone.
But also in the situation where you want to explore a dungeon in debt. This can actualy be a very usefull tool. No more dragging around torches, that you need to keep in a hand. Just walk around and light the area. (Bettter have a fighter or Paladin do that and not the sneaking cheater or the wizard that wants to be able to blend into the shadow.) Go to Comment
- Dead people that have to be send on their last journey.
- Fights that need to be resolved like two farmers fighting, because a cow of farmer one has left the yard and started eating the grain of the other farmers field.
- A high ranking official comes to visit.
- The community needs to grow, so new followers of the god need to be recruited.
(well perhaps not recruited, but people need to be converted at any rate.)
- The clerics may want to expand the chappel to a real church. (After all there is no need to have a group of clerics for a very small group of followers that would fit a small chappel. You have probably three to five clerics, so a serious congragetion. They would need a serious church or a convent.) Go to Comment
In general I realy like the idea of the item, but there are some points that are nagging and I do not really. I can not really lay the finger on the sour point though.
There are some things that I would have written down a bit different.
Personally, I do not like mindless wandering zombies, so I would expect the cursed wearer of the cloak to fall dead to the floor when their soul is entirly consumed.
... Another question is: once the wearer (or his entourage) realize what is going on, could a spell like "remove curse" not be used to remove the cloak, or can you just lay it aside without any problem?
Sure, you can regain your soul by slaying the creator, but what if the creator ends up dead by another source? Go to Comment
The general idea is fun, but I do wonder why they say the thing would be less expensive if you can float only a minute a day.... That way most librarians would actualy need a couple of these Cravates, so in the end you would end up having to spend more money...
How could others use it? well steal it from the friend of the kobold.
(Or bargain for it if they are the more scurpulous kind.)
Is there realy loopholes? well that depends on how you look at it... I think there are no loopholes, because what ever you do, this item is system independent and as such I need to translate it to for instance D&D. If there are loopholes after the translation, then they are my fault. All in all I can imagine that some people would like to know why the kobold made the sword.
I'd normaly give this item a 3/5 because I am in doubt, but since so many people have been quite unfriendely about it, I will even go for 4/5.
But other then that, this sword is like the whispering dead and it deserves a much higher rating. Go to Comment
The item is not only overpowered (+30 on hide means most monsters will need to roll 20 on a D20 to see you), but it also is quite useless in most campaings, since you need to be of evil allignment to use the cloak.
Such a simple weapon with so many hidden features... I would consider it very powerfull and one of my players would love this item.... for traveling through a city where she is no longer welcome for instance.
A casual remark by one of the party about something met on a previous adventure leads to a summons to and grilling by the Mages' Guild (or equivalent), probably resulting in an expedition back to that area to recover the things for 'study' by the Guild. The party's presence will be 'requested' for this expedition.