This passage is great...iSome adventurers are a little nervous about traveling around with a magically animated claw in their packs, and so decide to keep the Tae Nijong tightly bound with leather straps or similar restraints. However, this often leads to a mistrust and belligerence from the severed hand, not a helpful trait in an item meant to protect its owners from falling to their deaths./i
I like Monuments twist as well, always fun to directly involve the PCs like that. I can also see that Taiwoo Kin gets so infatuated with his creation that he could justify getting himself a human hand using that theif thing.
Only part I have trouble with is the magistrate giving the PCs all the hints on where to go and to keep searching after they 'solved' it. All those hints should come in game for the players to discover themselves. If the players are worth half a dime they will ask neighbors and if they think they solved it, then why would the magistrate doubt it? He is in such a flurry that he would gladly accept a reasonable explanation.
You could even have them find the escaped monkey and destroy it. "Yeah, you solved it. Take what little I have as payment." Next day he is found dead. "Ooops, guess that wasn't what was doing it." Now, are there killer monkeys on the loose? How long till they figure it out it is not the local monkeys going on a killing rampage but an enchanted hand. Go to Comment
Contrary to Monuments post, I find this great - not as a roleplay in itself, but merely as a side-track in a roleplay - A scene. If your adventurers are just travelling through to get to some other destination, they have the choice of staying to investigate this murder, or just spending the night and moving on (Adventurers aren't obligated to solve EVERYTHING, after all!). Advantages of finishing this "Quest", if you will, is that they may come into posession of their own Grasping hand, which could serve them well in future.
If they choose not to solve this mystery? Well, if they come back after their adventures, they may find half the town murdered by the "Kin Strangler".
4/5 For an adaptable plot. Go to Comment
I like the concept, but the story wraps up too quickly. As it stands, this would play out in little more than half an hour at our table.
This would play better in general if the living hand stays hidden for a while, and there are obvious other suspects, rivals, underworld, something to keep it going. These other suspects, depending on their power, are likely to be pretty annoyed that they are being unjustly accused of murder.
If I had to make this into an adventure, I would make the hand human, and something they find early, and don't make it move while they have it. Make sure they take it, though, maybe making it an obvious clue or something(symbol on the hand or something). So, the party takes it with them, and go around interviewing potential suspects. Each time as the party leaves, the hand pops out of their packs or whatever, and then strangles a new victim every time the party interviews them, making the party seem like the killers. Then they pretty much HAVE to solve these murders or become fugitives themselves. I'm not sure how the hand gets back to them each time, though... but, it's an idea(not a very good one, mind you). I guess I just like putting my guys in harms way and having them figure it out. If the hand is too obvious, you can't really play out the scenario for too long. Go to Comment
Aha!... I hadn't thought of that before. I suppose some Tae Nijong WOULD exist that were made from human hands, just given the sadistic nature of some people... I just couldn't see Taewoo Kin, no matter how neurotic he is, chopping off some guy's hand for his experiments. I guess with a different NPC it would work pretty well... Nice thinkin', Monument!
Ooh, unrelated idea - The usual punishment for thievery in the Jutan kingdoms is the amputation of a HAND... And the city guards, the ones meant to catch thieves, use Tae Nijong made out of the very hands that they cut off the men and women they arrest... I'm thinking thievery would go down a bit. ...But then the guards would run out of hands for new Tae Nijong. Hmm.