This is pretty cool, I don't know if I would inflict it on a party, though. BUT! It is a REALLY good way of removing a high level NPC sage/wizard/etc from the party without removing that wizard permanently.
Alternately, use it to trick an evil wizard into a world of his own, ignoring his dastardly plan of world domination(doesn't every evil wizard have a dastardly plan of world domination?), and focusing instead on the puzzle. Maybe the party is told the story of the puzzle, and are sent to offer it as a gift to some naughty wizard to keep him busy while they foil his plans! Go to Comment
What might be amusing is if it made it APPEAR as if it were easier to solve for a child, and harder for a genius. So, some kid peers over the shoulder of a mage, and basically can see it right away, this piece here, and this piece there. So the wizard says, oh yeah, smart guy, ok, you have a go at it. At which point it appears to the wizard that the child is moving with lightning speed to finish the puzzle(not superhuman speed or anything, just everything seems to fit for them nicely). Then, the child is compelled to break it down again... "see how easy that was! Now you try it..." cut to montage of jeopardy music overlaying shots of a frustrated wizard trying his damndest to finish the puzzle... Go to Comment
It sound too me more like it has a MAJOR enchantment of fascination, which would just make it all the more appealing to a wizard.
I can see one of my party members becoming obsessed with this, he's the sorcerer and de facto leader, it will really hamper them. Go to Comment
Well, the house is always real, it is just a _bit_ different at night. It is mixing of the "ghostly" and "real" that can get weird. (They sure wake up hungry in the morning... especially bad if they were sailors running out of food.)
So it can be diffilcut for them to get something "ghostly" and be able to keep it outside of the house. A simple (but possibly too annoying) option would be to copy the scroll or book on real paper.
Given that the inhabitants percieve takers as thieves, and act appropriately, they better do some bargain. And interring may not be enough... a service or yet another quest may be asked for. And what if the spy asks for hard currency, especially one that does not exist anymore? Of course for the real thing, winning in the game room will get you only the ghost stuff... unless there is some unbeatable master of a game. It could take real money or other item of value to exchange for a real item.
Actually, the PCs could really spend here some time, get into all conversations, and hear all the chit-chat (parts of it may be highly relevant, even after centuries!). They could even become addicted on it, and have diffilcuty going away.
I can well imagine, that after properly burying a few guests (hardly all in a single day), the evening would start as usually, but culminate into a great farewell party, and saying goodbye to the departing ones... that could lie down into their graves, or depart walking on the sea, vanishing in the distance, or on a ship that arrives to fetch them finally.
The other guests will return to their somewaht distorted routine.
How about a lone fisherman or sailor, shipwrecked on the island, that embraced all the house has to offer? He could oppose the party in its plans, whether he is still alive (and hiding somewhere on the island) or he is dead, but a different ghost from the others.
You know what's cool about this setting? You can insert it as a simple flavor encounter, and then hook all sorts of things in there after the fact.
My guys would find no END of things to suppose about a place like this. It would be something mysterious and intrigueing that simply MUST be investigated further.
I would probably insert this into the middle of a river journey(they do a lot of river travelling), and just have it "be there", especially when they are off on something else. They would stay the night and wake up and be like, "what the...??" and they'd want to return to figure out what the hell happened.
You know what would be cool? Some sort of ethereal travel scenario. The house burned down with someone in it with important information or something of intrinsic value that would have gotten destroyed in the fire(scroll, map, etc). That item can ONLY be found by going ethereal and joining the ghosts on that plane, where the house has REAL substance, as it stood before it was burned down.
They go back to the house, spend another night of revelry, and wake up in the morning to find it gone, and some guy standing there requesting of them that they go find something specific in the house or something, but in order to actually bring it back, they have to visit the ethereal plane and actually grab it from there.
You know why I like this setting? A plot instantly popped into my head for this specific setting, at least the rough concept. If you don't mind, I'll work up something more specific, or heck, you can run with this. (I don't know what the etiquette is for using someone else's settings,etc as a basis for another entry.) Go to Comment
I'm thinking this would be a great idea for a really late-night session, when no one's suspecting a twist in the plot. The valuables appearing on corpses idea is especially effective - I can just see the look on the PCs faces when they're told that the pathetic charred corpse is wearing the same heavy spectacles as that genial, cultured old man at the table in the corner who was so helpful to them... Go to Comment
First, I would fire whatever guards I have if there was an unknown temple in my hunting fields. I have trouble finding a good way to use these kind of ideas in games, but I love the legend aspect of them. I would probably use this as a historical world fleshing idea to create more depth in the history of a location instead of using it in a game, but the plot examples make it easier to see how it could work. Go to Comment
A good item to support a strong story arc. It could be a campaign meta-arc, or just a plot the players stumble through. If you weave the characters into the King's court and men at arms, they will have a ring side seat to the king's campaigns and changes. Go to Comment
The sword is a McGuffin, a fulcrum to move this plot along. It does not have to be a sword, it could be a crown, a ring, an amulet, a mantle. The sword does work better being the "Item of Kings".
It is a plot, actually to be more exact it is a story arc, an overarching story line that threads through a good portion of a campaign. A meta plot.
He could of posted the item seperately, but the existence of the sword in noble/ ropyal hands impliments the plot. And no one less would find the item, or if they did, would be unable to keep it for very long. So as an item, the sword would be rated less. Go to Comment
I like the fact that the blade allows a person to rise to the post of epic villain - 'no mundane way of death' is nice - it prevents the scenes where upon meeting a villain for the first time, a PC fires an arrow and drops him dead, by rolling an uber-critical, or whatever.
Of course, the sense of destiny is somewhat justified when the old king finds new resolve through pulling a blade out of a stone altar :D certainly, the gods are favouring that One, true?