Ok, first I must confess my bias: I am very cautious of slaying weapons and disapprove of instant killing items. This item here would greatly unbalance my current fantasy campaign. (Despite this fact, I sometimes create such items myself).
Now the actual critique:
As usual Scrasamax has delivered a very good piece of work. As a matter of fact I consider this the penultimate proof that a seemingly munchkin idea can be rendered usable, even great, if created by someone skillful enough.
Nice background and nice item, but too powerful.
An idea could be to let the dark god want something in return for his gift... (for game-balance)
We are all aware that it is a good item Sentinel*. Scras is even one of my favourite GMs here.
But we must remember that there are many GMs out there that simply adopt items like these from a site. They should know what would happen to their campaign if they freely gave it away. Killing dragons would be simpler than killing D&D kobolds!
So yes a good item, but one to be inserted with extreme caution.
~Ancient Gamer Go to Comment
You forget lesser gods of evil. ;) They want to have some fun, too. Too bad the main baddie spoils it regularly. (May be another reason why the world was "helped".)
A truly evil god would not spare the bad guys of his sense of humour, right?
While plagues, madness and mutations can be expected, the evil supreme being would likely research more ways to Evil... creating places seemingly peaceful, with much suffering underneath, and many others...
Personally, I'd give it a 4.5 of 5, but since there is no such value, and the score is ALREADY 4.50/5 i'll round it up for you ;)
I like the background of this item. We all know I like the whole 'Dark gods' and 'hidden evil' type thing :)
If this hidden god was as twisted and evil as the dragons, as is said ("a sacred shrine to a god as dark and terrible as the dragons themselves"), I can't help but think that there is to be some sort of twist which will come into play somewhere along the lines.
Hmm, as a matter of fact, I'd like to talk with you sometime, Scras, about making that world. A world with a history of dark dragons, with a malevolant evil god, and an array of good gods who just arent as powerful... Anywho, t'will be thought on! Go to Comment
'usually' is BORING, Manfred! :O Why NOT make a dark, occult world ruled by an evil lord. A world where people are unexplainedly stricken with plaque or illness. Where madness and mutation is common, and even the great heros have to pay homage to the dark god, or else they may have things happen to them!?
So power tree would be as follows from best:
Ancient (and rare, since most are dead) dragons, now living in fear of the dark god.
Greater gods of good.
Lesser (and still rare) dragons.
Greatest magi in the Lands.
Lesser gods of good.
Ok, Im getting inspired :) Tomorrow I might make a post in the setting forge and get this thing going :D Thanks for the inspiration, oh Scrasified one!
And Im thinking more of the greater, dark god bieng ruler over the universe, but focusing on this world currently, and the good gods having travelled to this world to watch over it, and perhaps offer some respite from the fury of the greater god (though they cannot do enough to stop the dark god alone.) Im thinking the humans werent created by any god, but evolved or something, and the gods simply attach themselves to worlds. If a world is destroyed, the hop to another world to try and save (or destroy) it. Nomadic gods!
It could be such that the wielder must become a servant of the Dark God,carrying out that which the god wills.And in death too,he must continue serving with no respite.Think of it as the work bond from hell. Go to Comment
Wow. I did not expect this much feedback, let alone a five-flamer! I really like this dark world that seems to be growing from this one post, I generally like the darker games anyhow, Ravenloft, Call of Cthulhu, and the entire World of Darkness milieu. Now for my two cents.
This elder god of evil is perhaps not the malevolent evil we think he is, but is a more apathetic deity, more interested in the trials and sufferings of the common populace. The world that is exists as his experiment in cruelty and compassion, as the two are opposites and cannot exist without the other. Perhaps the dragons are his fallen angels, originally created to serve him, but failing in that they became interested in material things, and their own granduer rather than furthering the god's plans.
As for what he does with them, perhaps they are brought to heel, and forced to sit at their master's feet as they were originally created to do, but by whatever means they previously escaped and slipped their leashes, so to speak.
I am stuck, however, on the price of the spear. Perhaps to be more precise, the cost of using the spear. The first thing that came to mind was that the user most certainly had to have the will to use the weapon. Second, there would be a sacrifice. For this sacrifice, it would have to be of great value and importance, like offering a loved one as blood sacrifice to the Dark God, or perhaps even offerings ones own life upon completion of the task. There could even be a twist that the price for each user is different. I really like the suicide/sacrifice angle, but it leaves a gap in the creation of the dynasties when using the item ensures that its user is not around afterwards to breed. Any input? Go to Comment
The Blackguard, the undying servants of the Dark Gods, akin to the Nazgul, and to Spawn in that their existance is continued for the sole purpose of servitude. This could be a good into into a cult of ancestor worship, praying to the spirits of the dead for help and guidance, these fallen kings and heros could be the Saints and scourges of a culture who worship the dead. Go to Comment
This item shoul be used only in a campaign where the objective is to stave off the return of the dragons - in all other campaigns, it removes the respect and fear the dragons should evoke in all who face them, or just see them flying overhead.
I just wonder - what is the dark god doing with all the dragons in his realm? Perhaps his aid was not all that selfless.