Helping the gate is SO easy. Just kill all the goblins, convince enough people that the talk of decay etc. is not true, and move them inside, to re-create the city.
Or move the absurdly heavy gate to another city and install it there. It might be even theirs mission, why should they else approach the cursed city? There is also the moral thing about moving an intelligent creature somewhere it does not necessarily want to. Yeah, you took the gold, but you didn't know it talks...
What about its powers? Does it feel the truth, or just hostile intents of some visitors? Or can it be fooled in some way? Perhaps it does regenerate, for every battering ram eaten. :-) Go to Comment
A nice end for any evil wizard, is to break the control of his slave(s) and let him (them) do the dirty work. It could be well the hand of some former enemy, still remembering something from his living days. Say the villain promised to kill all his family and friends. As he kidnapped the last child, heroes jumped in. Manola should be quite powerful, and after wrecking them somewhat he decides to kill the child, and gets attacked by the hand. Depending on the heroes' condition, it could strangle him, or only delay for a short while. Go to Comment
Changes minor and major, and how it turned out in the end:
Owing a little favour to someone, it turned out the tribe they should help is a goblin tribe, and the character itself a half-goblin. The tribe was not exactly decided to follow them, and it took some talks and a test to make them believe.
Mission accepted, they traveled long to meet many not friendly to their cause. That fifteen year old wannabee hero, but also militia (very logically) ready for battle. Persuading most of them to be harmless, they were allowed to go into another barony, with a little armed escort.
There was a nice comical borderline encounter. The sleepy guard between two baronies in peace left them through without problems, the first time. The second time, with a complete goblin tribe, the guard rapidly was alarmed and in panic, another guard (with a chefs apron) ran out of the small outpost to save the day with a frying pan. After yet another discussion on goblins that are not evil (and several substantial "gifts"), they were allowed to pass. Not quite what their armed escort expected, and several of them voiced their anger, while one shouted merrily "Thank you, thank you!", while dancing with hands full of money won in the bets they did all the journey.
After that, people were friendlier, or at least the characters learned to evade public attention. Or not quite, because rumours already circulated everywhere. The only problem were the increasing undead attacks. Which was odd, considering that everyone spoke of the Undead showing up here and there, but seeming to attack no one.
(By the way, thanks to MoonHunter for the ending!)
Ending up between two undead armies, they wanted to flee at first. But as those armies seemed to be reluctant to let them go easily, and as the orcish one "included" them in its ranks, panic grew. There was an empty moment, with repeated calls for the commander, when the players didn't know what to do. (Personal note: drop more and better hints next time!) But at last they figured out the shaman was in fact the the commander, or at least a fitting replacement. Sadly, the battle could not be prevented. And thus both armies have met, with their leaders in the middle, and the history repeated itself. The tribe has luckily withdrawn into safe distance, their shaman was mortally wounded on the battlefield. And has passed away, after his last few words...
Cliche, but I hope it fitted the occassion. Mourning, the tribe has decided to move on, and thanked the characters for their services. Their ways have parted, they may meet yet again...
(Personal note: be better prepared in future climactic scenes! Have more descriptions of everything. ;) )
The only "real" combat happened when lightning struck into the tall tree they were all hiding under, on otherwise open grasslands during a storm. Most of them panicked and run away (including one character), the rest of the party had to deal with zombies that showed up at this wrong moment. Otherwise, combat was basically out of question.
I cannot play a goblin tribe. Fine, there are just three or four relevant NPCs, but still, it gets awkward to make a whole tribe to seem alive, being not only a burden, and not a mere 'background' for my heroes. Retrospectively, in most cases the reasoning "They are humans too - you do the talk." worked for most encounters. The tribe was better in hunting and food-gathering, and occassionaly got a bit rebelious. But most of the time, the PCs were accepted as leaders, for the moment at least.
I am not sure if I have mixed Pride and Weakness (or Dependence on others) in the right way, but hey: the characters did something unusual, helped someone, and changed the world in a way. (And had some fun in-between.)
It is easy to simply swap the numbers for "a decent bonus", "major bonus" (or penalty). I have considered changing the writeup, but frankly, there is no particular need for that. It shall stand as an example of old craftsmanship. :)
On the brighter side, I noticed it wasn't linked to the plot/group that originally spawned it. That was fixed. Thanks for the Bump! Go to Comment
Dreams cannot hurt you, everyone knows that. If you are a lord and a leader, you cannot complain from such trivial things as bad dreams. But such dreams do exhaust and when you try not to dream, what a victim will, you will get weaker and when you finally are forced to sleep... the dream may really hurt you.
The dreamweaver would have to be close to the victims, for how does he know when they sleep? A simple way of protection would be to sleep in the day. Unless it is Freddy of course... Go to Comment
May be quite tolerable if you manage to defeat forces you do not like. If strongly Good aligned, you surely want to defeat that Evil overlord, and once you do that, the Evil voice stops. May have other powers which might make it desirable(or not so). But what is the item's History? Go to Comment
The leader was young and inexperienced when all this happened. But he grew up through the years and regrets very strongly this fault of his youth. Another way of solving may be to publicly announce his failure. If the witches name is redeemed, it may leave. May also cause a heavy loss of trust into the spiritual leader, so better solve that now! Go to Comment
Red Erring NPCs (Mythic/ Historical)
1. "There's no inn this way and travelers speak of monsters... you really wouldn't want to go there would you?"
2. "And carry this herb on your clothes, it may help you along."
3. (Did not listen?) Coming to the Inn of the Smart Dragon, hear voices marily singing and asking for more ale. As they enter the dark passage inside, the building suddenly collapses and shakes as if in earthquake...
The dragon chews them and spits them out. "Blah,you people are really disgusting! OK, I won't kill you, but you will serve me instead..." Go to Comment
No, may be definitively useful for invading a powerful magic-user's or a dragon's lair. Get in and take care that it will be found. Ever heard of the Trojan Horse? Better have a cover inside, if the 'new owner' takes a peek! Go to Comment
A dream quest was maybe at the creation of this item. Shamen may know about it, and one not so worthy may seek it. Given this job, you also start having mysterious dreams. When you finally get it, it slowly becomes clear it does not want that new owner. But it rightly belongs to him (may be Mareks heir). After/if it is given he may die a sudden death at the claws of a bear... Go to Comment
No, spells and abilities that easily detect dagic, have a hard to time to find this one. It is a way to tell them: You have something that is magical, but you just don't know what. Simple torches would be the last things suspected. Go to Comment
Surnames: The Chinese were among the very first cultures to adopt the use of hereditary surnames (around 2800 BC). But the custom didn't quite catch on in Europe - at least not until the Venetian aristocracy made it popular sometime between the 10th and 11th centuries AD. What culture made it popular in your setting and why?