A dark magical item which has distinct advantages. It's the kind of thing you want to use but know you shouldn't really, and that should make for some good roleplaying. I think the uncertainty about its cumulative effects (even for the GM!) adds the aura of dark, mysterious presence. Go to Comment
Eh? Who submitted that? Nothing if not constructive.
Just had a thought about this character: maybe he made enemies in his career as a warrior, and believes that the best way to ensnare them is through disguise. He "injured" himself and is now renowned for being disabled, but in actual fact is just awaiting the arrival of his enemy vultures, attracted by the prospect of an easy kill, who he can then surprise and slay.
We weren't getting at you, Manfred! I think the submission's a great one. It was the not-so-insightful anonymous comment which attracted my attention.
And yes I'd agree about the secret training business rather than all out pretence. When I made my comment, I was thinking about Sherlock Holmes, and how he fakes his own death to lull his enemies into a false sense of security. Go to Comment
A variant trick I've only just considered. It's a "Turn your GM's creations against himself" version of this plot.
A GM is usually extremely glad when a PC willingly says he'll write a world and GM a game. It gives him a chance to be a player for a change. So he'll be more than happy to give the PC access to old worlds he'd created to give him some example material to model the new world on.
The PC takes the GM's world (preferably one no-one's adventured in before) and develops it (obviously worlds evolve, even if you leave them on a shelf), writing an adventure based in this world. See how much his old work the GM remembers when he becomes a player inside a world he created. Strangely, he's revered by a number of bizarre cults and sects who believe him to be the avatar of the Creator, and want to put him through a number of interesting rituals...
Possibly, Anonymous, but wouldn't it be more interesting to devise a cunning and fantastical way for the thieves to make off with a gigantic church bell without anyone noticing? Or even hire the PCs to do it: maybe capture a giant eagle first, muzzle it and use it to lift the bell. All sorts could go wrong and provide for adventuring fun... Go to Comment
4) Maybe Lord Hubert was being duped by the guilds: they could have found out about his little monetary scheme and hijacked the caravan themselves (via the less reputable guild), before sending in the collectors. The collectors would then be caught between the wishes of their nefarious employers and the will to do justice. They could even try and break into the guilds' headquarters to find incriminating evidence. Go to Comment
That's great! That would fit really well with the campaign I'm running at the moment: lots of guilds and mafioso intrigue and basically thieves doing what thieves do best. I wonder where the inspiration for the name Rinaldo came...possibly a topical reference? Go to Comment
Trouble is that although you say he could do with fleshing out, he is just an idea (as are all entries on this site). It is not always helpful to write reams of detail if it will obscure the kernel of the idea. As it is you could muse for hours on the reasons for him being the way he is; all that was really relevant for the scenario in which he was to be used was that he was an environmental fundamentalist.
Ah! A tale with a moral. Not enough dungeons have that: a sure move away from the traditionalist "roleplaying" values of plundering and fame-seeking. Nice narrative delivery too, manfred. Go to Comment
The question of how they come to be on the ship I left open so as to make it easier to fit into GMs' campaign worlds without modification. It could be they're emigrating; maybe they're troops being transported to a faraway city, or being returned home from one; maybe they're merchants.
The question of how they get off the island is a good one: perhaps one of the evil spells in the Blue Book would help? Or maybe they'd be better off just making a boat out of wood from the island (or even repairing the little boat at the jetty). Basically, leave it up to the players' ingenuity (or lack of it).
The Blue Book I imagine as being full of crazy chaotic patterns and evil spells. Look up some fractals or hyperbolic tilings and modify a few standard necromancy spells if you don't want too much work.
The exact nature of the hybrids I leave to your imagination. It shouldn't be too hard to weld together a few creatures from the Monstrous Manual (or game-equivalent!) and create a truly abhorrent individual...
Maybe there's something in the wine which permeates through the barrels into the atmosphere and gradually overpowers those nearby. The barrels could be leaking this substance into a river which supplies the local peasants with water. At the same time as the strange goings on in the cellar the peasants are experiencing a hitherto unheard-of plague.
Encounters in the cellars could then be with mutated creatures which had been contaminated by the substance in the wine. Go to Comment
There's always the age-old possibility that the sprite was confined for a good reason and that letting him out will have bad consequences: maybe he was a thief or murderer. Maybe the sprite is a carnivorous scavenger and wants the mage to fall into the gorge and die providing him with a tasty meal. Go to Comment
Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.
By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.
Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).
To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.
To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.
When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.
What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.