Man, you had me going. I tend to overthink things and I just couldn't get over the horrible way in which the whole thing started, the end snapped me to attention with a great "ah, ha, so that is why." Thank you for that, was a pleasure being surprised.
I still don't think you give the thieve's guild enough credit. As soon as the herald started the guild would quickly be put in action to find this guy. The herald, being who he is, would know that as well so could time his deliverance of the message to the same time thieve's guild finding him. You know the guild will follow this herald wherever he goes so there won't be any grace period for this guy.
Why would the guild kidnap family when the tailor is just as easy (easier) to kidnap from the get go. After all he is just strolling around while his family is being kidnapped. Necessary for plot but fails common sense. Better to have him immediately seek sanctuary with the family and maybe the family gets kidnapped while the PCs are helping him escape or trying to claim the inheritance. I also don't think the guilds would ever think that Joshua killed other guild members, that doesn't pan out. He would be watched from 0 hour anyway so they would know exactly what he did.
How come I have forgotten to vote on this? It can work with some proposed modifications. But if the herald stayed a bit more close-mouthed about the fortune, or found the tailor relatively fast, it could make the disputed parts more believable. Plus quickly running away, of course. :)
Because being crazy for the sake of being crazy is way better than being evil for the sake of evil. Demons are evil, it is a fundamental part of their existance. If you dont like the demon aspect, how bout if the Herald is a sadist who gains his satisfaction by manipulating people for no personal gain. (Think of the movie Saw for an idea of what I am talking about)
Now for the post, I thoroughly enjoye it including the paranoid tailor. I can just see a little reed thin Woody Allen type sitting surrounded by priests who might look like they should be in a mobster movie rather than priestly robes.
Great - a truly brilliant idea - this definitely gets my "wish I'd thought of that" award
This has got everything - believable motivations (mostly greed), investigation (PCs need to find out where all the kidnap victims are), and just the right amount of combat
One point - not really a gripe, more of an observation - the demon is a little unbelievable (kinda DnD type "evil for evil's sake") - suggest instead a real windfall of some kind (an unexpected inherence is fine) but no where near as big as advertised, or possibly a case of mistaken identity (this is the wrong Joshua Robert Grundel - there's another one who is related to Hector Elliot)
Other than that, one of the best plots I've seen in a long time - 5/5 Go to Comment
Yeah, I agree, the demon evil for evil's sake is kind of played out. As you can probably tell, that part of the story was an addon after the fact, you could honestly go any way as far as motivations of the rich guy/herald. I just like including demons and such because they are so easy to blame things for in a fantasy world, and BOY are they fun to fight.
Hey, maybe it's just some crazy guy who likes messing with people, in the truest sense of insanity. Maybe Sir Elliot exists and is completely batty, and the herald is nothing more than a hired messenger, hired to deliver a fairly strange message, but whatever, he's just the messenger, ya know? Go to Comment
Updated: The ending of the story was noted as "hokey" (and I agree, it was a demon with just did it "because", blergh). I updated the story so that it had a more plausible, and hopefully more plot-carrying ending. Go to Comment
At the very first look, I was afraid this was going to be another bumbling old mage who was forgetful and very powerful. Instead I find an interesting character with other than violent plans, such as the curio cabinet and the job of being an economic advisor/mage. I enjoyed reading this post Monument.
There is room for improvement, his history is a little vague and that is the only thing, IMO that keeps him from being a 5.
While he is an interesting old man, especially due to his demeanor that lets him ignore stuff he does not want to do (like blowing people to pieces), there are a few concerns I'd like to voice:
*Does his little game not cost him more time than it actually saves?
*What is his history? As it stands, he 'was and adventurer and sat at a non-descript council'.
I think that it would be beneficial to the post if you elaborated the way why he withdrew from worldly doings, why he is such a kind man when, as we know, power corrupts, where he got his awesome power, etc.
*Does a mage HAVE to be able to level armies to be interesting?
Ok character akin to Gandalf, Elminster, Merlin, and a myriad other old mages from many different settings. Indeed every setting is bound to have at least one; it is only logical that, in magical fantasy worlds, there are some who strive for magical power. These people most likely attain such power upon reaching old age.
Good write up, though old mages are "easily supplied and in low demand". Good work on the curio cabinet. Such personal twists are cool to have. 3/5 Go to Comment
Hmmm - not quite what I expected - but I must say that on the whole I like this character - he's an ideal GM plot device
I like that he's a lot smarter than he appears, making out that he's an absent-minded dullard in order to achieve his goals, although I'm sure at least some of the locals will have caught on (I wonder what he thinks about that - and how he reacts to it)
One gripe - I never liked the idea that a single character could be powerful enough to level an entire army with a mere wave of his hand - that is, I'm afraid, the very definition of a munchkin
Overall - great character, but i feel I must downgrade him slightly for being too powerful - 4/5 Go to Comment
The idea of the "wave of hand army destruction" was to indicate "extreme power" without going into the system specific details. It was exaggeration, of course, it would take longer than the simple wave of a hand, but it wouldn't take long for this guy to reduce a massed formation of grunts into a smouldering pile of ex-soldiers.
For what it's worth, in the D&D system, a single extremely high level wizard is MORE than capable of killing literally thousands of mooks. Trust me, I've seen it happen(in game, no less, our 7th level wizard killed 126 mooks in a matter of rounds, now, knowing that a 1st level wizard has a hard time killing anything, scale that up to 20th level or so along an exponential scale).
If you are doubtful that it's possible, just thumb through the high level wizard spells in the D&D rulebooks, which tend to be used on more powerful opponents, and consider what they would do to a massed formation(ala army) of less powerful opponents. Cloudkill in particular is extremely deadly to mooks, just as an example.
However, since I wished to avoid the details that were system specific, I simply left it to the imagination. Go to Comment
I find it curious that you're terribly interested in his background, so much so that it clouds your vision of the character itself. As far as his background goes, he was "an adventurer", and all the things that adventuring entails, he's done it, the stories are, quite frankly, less than important, and would be well outside the scope of a single NPC description.
The thing that *IS* lacking, of course, is a description of the Ethe Council of Elders, but unfortunately, I don't really know where to put that. Items? It is a "thing", I suppose. NPCs? It's a group, not an individual. Plots? There's a lot of play you could get out of a council of elders, of course, but it's not a plot unto itself. Settings? I would have to say, this is the most logical one to me. Any suggestions for including this particular background element would be appreciated(ie where to place it).
Of final note, this particular NPC's background was not important to the storyline of our game. He just didn't deserve spending a gob of time on. The only thing of any importance pertained to the Ethe Council, details of which was specifically left out of this description as being superfluous to the character as he is NOW. Right now, he is no longer even affiliated with the Ethe Council, having retired(no bad blood, no blackmailed retirement, nothing nefarious, he just simply retired). So, there's not much more to say about THAT either.
I will happily write up a description of the Ethe Council, but honestly, it's pretty boring stuff: a group of older, wiser, democratic style advisors who run a particular city-state in our campaign(the PC home town). Think "U.S. Cabinet" and you've got it. Go to Comment