I wasn't terribly impressed until the end - don't get me wrong, it was a solid idea, just not overly remarkable. And then I read the last paragraph and was completely creeped out. It really transforms the whole story and takes the adventure to a much higher, much darker level. Go to Comment
I took like the idea, but it seems to ramp up far too fast. I've seem some 1st level characters in 1st ed AD&D manage to do 19+ hp on one hit _without_ magic enhancement (Longsword, high strength, large target).
The progression will be a sort of accelerated Fibonacci series and unless PCs miss a lot, they are going to be fighting off a high intelligence sword very quickly, making this more a booby trap then anything subtle.
Since you have called it Soul drinker, I would think a better mechanic would be only killing strikes count towards increasing the blade's intelligence, and perhaps only +1 point accumulative per kill.
Sorry - your terminology was very similar to that typically used by AD&D - especially earlier variants - that I assumed it was your intent.
If a more general approach is intended then avoiding specific numbers and 'game' terms may be better.
Most subs here are light on actual mechanics for this reason. The germ of the idea - that the weapon becomes more intelligent and harder to control is really what is good here. Go to Comment
Interesting sword with a neat mechanic. I think as an NPC cursed item, it would work really good as is. If I were to give it to the PCs, I'd want to slow that intelligence gain. It's still cursed and dangerous, but giving the PCs a bit more time for the curse to 'build up', would make for better role playing. Out of curiosity, who's soul does it suck? Under normal circumstances I'd say it's the guy who gets hit with the business end of the sword and not the user. Go to Comment
I don't do AD&D, so I wasn't sure how much damage a single strike would deal (nor am i familiar with other combat systems). Though the only killing blows up the intelligence is a good idea. Go to Comment
Even with communication, whether by spell or translator, there are lots of possibilities for conflict. Yesterday I have read an article on the Smithsonian site called "Sleeping with cannibals". Even while it was possible to talk with that tribe, the Korowai of New Guinee, their beliefs in witch-men impersonating loved ones, or that white people where ghosts, made the trip quite dangerous.
The Korowai also belief that their main god forbids contact with the white men. Seeing how many tribes suffer after first contact, might this be a smart move of a canny shaman? Go to Comment
I do not think it _should_ be difficult at all, depending on the situation, unless your intent as a GM is to add a war to the game. If that is your intent, then I think it should happen off-camera with NPCs at fault, rather then have your PC's do what you want them to do.
It really should be situational and depend on the nature of the explorers and the other people.
There are examples of this in the south pacific - there were tribes that were very non-confrontational, and others that were quite bloodthirsty.
Frankly, it seems you are trying to force an outcome that involves combat, and to my mind, not a very nice one. I agree with Dossta - first contact should be a opportunity to use skills other then combat, since you can only first contact once, but you can fight anybody. Go to Comment