I like this submission, both as an organization of religious fundamentalists and their unifying agent, the harvested essence of a minor demon. It is a mistake to try and rationize the thoughts and actions of a zealot, as by their very nature they will defy common logic and 'your' basic beliefs. Why would they go to such extremes to kill an infant? Because giving an expectant mother a dose of poison six months before birth isn't murder, it's just a religious devotion. Six months later the child is born and quickly dies, no one knows how, or even when the poison was delivered. It also goes to say that killing an infant is an evil act, but by use of the poison, the evil act is the work of the demon's milk, not the hand of a Follower. Go to Comment
I liked this. I especially liked the cult and the book and how the Milk is used. The fact that is used on pregnant women was nice too. The whole Marxist crown killer thing was modern, but not as good as the rest.
The potential for a 5 is in the Milk itself I would think. Had the central story and the plot hooks been different you might well have scored higher. Go to Comment
1st) I like it. It is intereting enough for me to want to get to the end to find out the rest.
2nd) I like the fact that it works the way it does.
a. It doens't kill the mother, oh no. Draws to much attention.
b. It doesn't still born the baby, same reason.
c. It allows the woman to go through her entire pregnancy thinking that everything is fine.
By doing it that way there is NO possible way to tel lexactly when the poison was introduced, if at all, and who did it. It can be given in the early stages, or two days before the baby is born. There is no possible way to tell who did it.
And therefore I have an issue. A non-traceable poison that no one can find the cure for as it kills in three days. Not long enough to find a cure, not long enough to study for one, unless you infiltrate the cult and get a sample which is probably next to impossible.
No way to track who did it unless they are very boastful, which by reading this it doesn't seem like they are. If I were to complain about anything, it would be that. It gives no hope for the PC's to get involved to find a cure to save the child. Thats me being a parent I guess and not a fatalistic DM I portray. Go to Comment
Cool. I like it. It is alot more subtle than some of the poisons I've seen. The One problem I have with it is the 44 day thing. If I was an evil demon intent on destroying civilization and was going to make my poison that hard to get I'd make the stuff last at least a half year.
I do like this quite a bit, and may use something like this in the future. My only concern has already been brought up, that there is not a whole lot for the PCs to do if there is no cure or even way to know it has been used until it is too late. They could hunt down the demon, but that is only if they know he existis. Though, I suppose there are ways to work that in, too. Perhaps an old follower who has "mended his evil ways" alerts the PCs, or maybe one of the followers is a woman who gets pregnant and accidently (or not) ingests the poision so she wants revenge.
A good concept, and with just a touch of modification, I can easily see using it in my game. Go to Comment
Manfred- I guess they could be interested in various poisons, but I see them more as specialists. Otherwise they devolve into a Poisoners Guild. Also, the beauty of Vephelot's Milk is that you can never tell (unlike other traditional poisons) if the baby sipmly died (quite common in real world history) or was poisoned. Having said that I still think your take on it would work! and most importantly THANKS for caring. I still can't get over the fact that I found this website and like-minded INTELLIGENT individuals such as yourself who like what I like!! *gushing* ...bare with me I'm new. I'll get jaded later.
antidote- yes and no. I'm guessing somewhere out there is an antidote or cure (there would almost have to be I think), but for now there isn't. My players have decided that the best way to deal with this villainy, is either to infiltrate the cult, or find some way to actually kill Vephelot. They understand that this can't be done in a "put-up-your-dukes" kind of way, so I can't way to see what they come up with.
Vephelot- "merciful spirit"...I like that a lot!
BTW- we are playing this weekend and if YOU have any ideas on what the antidote should/could be I'd greatly appreciate some thoughts.
Scrasamax- DANG! I could not have said it better myself. Go to Comment
you know what...you got me! the 44 day thing was off-the-cuff. I was just trying to give it a limited time for it's effectiveness. Since in every other way it's pretty freaking deadly! half year sounds good. Actually maybe 66 days
"over complication" from a person who names his beasties Baha'raha'ha ra. I jest of course!!! but explain if you would re: over complication. I keep reading posts and everyone preaches maximun detail? Go to Comment
Mourngrymn- I will be a parent myself (hope hope) in a month. In fact if my pregnant wife ever read this, she'd KILL ME! ;)
Your points/take on this is DEAD ON!
I guess in my game, the pc's simply decided to find a way to kill Vephelot in lieu of cure. They started last week, by poring over ancient dusty tomes in libraries, in an attempt to find mention and clues on Vephelot. Go to Comment
Manfred- Yes that's Ilya ;) Named after Ilya Murometz, greatest of the Bogatyrs in Russian Mythology (which gives me an idea for a submission). I would of picked "Ilya" but you guys already have one of those apparently.
re: your feedback I LIKE how you think.
Nobody- Where to begin. First thanks for the detailed feedback. Let me try to address a few of your points
1- it's an awfully limited poison BECAUSE a simple cleric or gaggle of concubines can't do anything about it. Hence, " incurable and unstoppable". They can't "purify" the food or water. It can't be detected either. How do you detect a colorless, odorless poison, that has a VERY mild taste of pus if it's in a bowl of Borscht. If what you mean is clerical magic, this particular poison isn't affected. Thats the whole point. As far as "only 3 uses a year", how many future kings can there possibly be to kill off in a one year period?? 3 seems okay to me. I guess it's an opinion thing. Thats cool.
Basically, I think I'll need to add a creative antidote/cure. I'm working on it. Was hoping someone here can throw out some ideas (like Manfred did-Thanks)
Making it a contact poison is a fine idea i guess...but it's not a poison created by a "deity". It's created by a minor demon. So I am not sure about "divine potency". This might be a case of semantics however on my part, so I'll leave that alone. 99 days is good point. nuff said. "hard but possible" is a great point as well.
2- Somehow I don't see the order as limited. I mean killing off royal bloodlines is a pretty major gig. A LOT of planning goes into pulling off successes for this group. Maybe I should of made it clearer, but harvesting the stuff doesn't take all that long so they are spending the rest of their time doing three things 1- plotting on how get the victim to ingest the poison 2- constantly looking to "place" key (not many but key) individuals in positions of power and 3-living their regular lives. It's not a religious order really. They don't recruit heavily. And if they screw up a "poisoning", there's always next year, or another kingdom. It's not like they are always successful. (sorry I think I'm going off on a tangent). But basically they definitely don't have a "widespread following"!
However if you mean this:
Vephelot cultist #1- "Hey, I heard the prince is going hunting. Maybe we can take him out then"
Vephelot cultist #2- "Let's try it. I can talk to that mad druid who owes me a favor. Let's plan this out well, since we screwed up killing him when he was born"
then ABSOLUTELY YES, I should of expanded on what else they do. No argument there. Great point!
I don't know what Roack means either by overcomplication. Waiting to hear.
"anecdotes" and "reeling the reader in" are both great points! Will do in future.
argghh...more detail. Won't it simply be too long?
"Describe the occult practices of the order in graphic detail, describe how the nobles react, describe how the people see these miscarriages. And don't just describe the overall effect, but describe them in a way that makes the reader feel like they are there. Go down to an individual level and really make the reader want to keep reading."
There is no way around it. Your absolutely right !!! (re: your last paragraph). Detail, detail, detail. But how many pages of this stuff do actually want to read??
Anyway, THANKS for taking the time to critique this. I appreciate that more than a simple "it's good/it's bad" comment. I guess getting that last 1/2 sword form you will take a little more work ;) Go to Comment
I have put bold font on one of your headings, worked fine. Try to do that on others, it it won't work, then it's probably a bug.
And yes, do post the One True Faith, it seems interesting. With a peaceful idea towards conquering the world... not bad. I wonder how long it takes for those in charge to split on some topic? Go to Comment
Excellent. There is everything I would want to know about a quiet little town, along with a local holiday and what the youngsters consider a challenge. There could be a few plot hooks, but it shouldn't be a problem to add some. (Oh, and: use the bold font, will look much better!) Go to Comment