Stoneshadow could be a great encounter for the right group of players, striking from the darkness and vanishing again into the night in a series of cat-and-mouse exchanges as he and the PCs stalk and ambush each other. In this way, he could reward those characters that aren't overspecialized, the rogues and generalist mages that do more than just dish out damage.
Some parties would hate an elusive foe like him. Players who prefer a foe they can go toe-to-toe with would find him frustrating.
He really cries out for a worthy patron: A vile and depraved villain to contract for the Stoneshadow's services. Painted simply as a mercenary killer, Stoneshadow is missing a major part of his character development.
His hatred of adventurers is understandable, but would be more useful if it were more specific: How does he display this inner hatred? Does he go out of his way to kill adventurers, and how far? He seems too practical to devote himself to vengeance wholeheartedly. ("There's not a lot of money in revenge...")
As a mercenary, I could see him finding a patron on the same side of a conflict as the PCs, but then deciding that his nominal allies are just too irritating to work with. Go to Comment
I love cliche, but I like to make something cliche a bit original. I have people in forums say that is cliche and this is cliche... You would probably have some pretty boring games if you did not include something cliche. I don't think the bread and butter of a campaign should be cliche, but if you didn't get cliche sometimes players would take you for a Taratino or a M. Night Shammy (cut it short not gonna look it up to spell) GM... where everything is purposely not cliche just for the sake of avoiding cliche... then all your players are always looking around what is cliche all the time. I like to keep 'em guessing.
Weapons and Items are probably my forte... NPC's are not. Go to Comment
The old school part probably comes from the fact that I am old school. Started at 7 years of age, literally bred to be nerd - I never had a chance. I also try to infuse newer gaming theory and ideas into my stuff. I actually am a subscriber to the best Game Theory blog I have ever found, you can check it out on my LJ (live journal) (Mindforge - Barbarian's and Space Aliens?)
I am really into a lot of classic fantasy too, I derive a lot of stuff from that... especially Robert E. Howard and Lovecraft... but also so many more from that same generation, the fathers of sci-fi, horror and fantasy IMHO. Well, anyway I am rambling and far off topic.
This post wasn't actually trying to be old school, just the opposite with this one. In a lot of newer RPG's I am seeing attempts to purposely break the "stereotype" and "cliche", that to me is what cliche is now. I mean dark elves that go good and come to the surface is a perfect example of a cliche breaker - in it's time of course. Now that is considered cliche... I like finding cliche and going with it if it feels right, then trying to alter it in subtle ways to really make gamers or readers think. I believe that to purposely change something that is good because it will be cliche is wrong; fantasy is all about cliche. Go to Comment
Nice Assassin! I also second Wulf about the patron. That would add some depth to this characater. Personally, though, I really like the back story, and love the idea of his death in a pool of demon blood to find himself transformed on awakening. I will probably use that idea, although it may not be with a goblin/insect. Go to Comment
I would say Vanity. For an artistic touch? When I ran a Vampire the Masquerade game, I had a house rule that limited artistic abilities (playing music, painting, performances that were not entirely technical) to the Vampire in question's humanity score. Thus, the less humane they acted and the more bestial, the more primitive and bestial their works became. Go to Comment
Certainly someplace to include in a darker, more twisted campaign. Amusingly enough, the PC that wants to hate undead and come from a dark background has the perfect location here (as well as some awesome plot hooks for the GM to use.).
I rather liked this, simply for the "out there" factor. Undead cities are something that doesn't often get worked with, e'en though a world where undead are possible would make them a certain occurrence given enough time. Go to Comment
The structure of this is fantastic and brief. As others have noted this is way out into the field of post-gaming fiction. It requires that the reader has a Castle Wolfensteinish or WoW like view of things like mummies, vampires and Liches since it does not attempt to define these creatures within its text. Very nicely done, I am glad this came up in the daily highlight. Go to Comment
I think it would be a game to the Lich King and in my mind he is more trying to get someone that would set up trade for them in a larger city. This was done off the hip after reading one of my "next to the toilet books"; Libris Mortis, a D&D book.
I never put a lot of thought into it, I thought it was a cool idea and I had just read the "Undead Economy" posts, those felt more focused on a mortal society utilizing the undead as a workforce. This is different by along similar lines. As far as my greatest work, I already know this is far from it. Go to Comment
Very cool! (although not particularly nice edit: as in revolting.) A practical application of the running Undead Economy ideas! the diary entries are nice too, although the journal's author doesn't sound quite disturbed enough from the horrors at first. I guess the primary target for the adventurers is the chronicles themselves.
I'm still not sure why the lich king would need a human chronicler though... Go to Comment
The small coastal town of Her-Desh has vanished - the bay where it once stood is now unspoiled countryside. Moreover, the locals claim to have never heard of the place. Perhaps the Priests of the local Temple can shed some light on the mystery...