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Author Topic: Nalford with a dull spoon  (Read 5661 times)
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Glacialis
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« on: August 18, 2006, 11:55:03 AM »

My party may enter Nalford shortly. Instead of having visions of ghostly soldiers, they will be there. People will mostly ignore them, but some of the stronger personalities (such as Wulf) will be able to interact with them. Everything will seem to be real. For the first time, they will see a thriving town. When the attack comes, they will help fight the orcs. During the battle, one of the personalities will tell them that they do not belong here. To leave, so that they may live out their days in battle, not here among the dead.

I really, really like Ghost. I may give it to a PC, but I'm not sure which one. At this stage I don't want more than one covenant item per player. Sela has her medallion, Tambourlin has her spirit wood rod. Ebbon may or may not find a weapon in the future, but he's more into bows and the light dual-wieldable weapons. That leaves Dob. Strong for a goblin at Str 10 Wink I don't see him using a greatsword. Not his style really, he already has profiency with rogue equipment. I suppose it could go to Ebbon, but meh.

I'll probably have a few elves helping to defend Nalford. Erunsil archers most likely, who dive into the fray with their fighting knives. If Ebbon joins them with the two fighting knives he was gifted, they will honor him. Perhaps something in the blades will awaken, or maybe one of the former owners of the knives is present at Nalford. Or maybe he'll pick up a fallen elf's bow and continue to fight. Either way, this would be a neat way for him to receive something. He's proven to be a bit of a loner, so he'd have to work within a team to get the bonuses here. I still like the idea of the party being favored by Xione and finding a perfect icewood shard with which to make a bow. Hmm...
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 07:25:40 PM »

Ghost
So, you like Ghost...who doesn't. Wink

While it is completely understandable that you would like your characters to possess and use this covenant item, because they do not qualify for effectively using it, and because it doesn't really help them do things they could not otherwise do, I think they will under appreciate the covenant item. This will only cause them to disregard it, and possibly also force one player into a class, position or style he or she does not want to fulfill.

The way I see it, you have two options:

1.Drop it. Ok, so Ghost is cool. Very cool. But it does nothing for your group, really. It's just a weapon they are not comfortable with using. Let it lie. Possibly, hold it up as an item of great power, then deny it to them. That way, you could send them back to the town at some later point.

2.Send it with them. They are not comfortable with using it, but perhaps something demands that they bring it along. A ghost could beg them to take it to the living Redgard, or suggest that they bring it with them as a show of good faith and a gift to Roland, since they are fleeing across the plains and might run into his men.

Other items
I would opt for a bow for the wildlander, but I reserve the two-weapon fighting skills mostly for warriors, not archers and hunters. Dire Blades, Erunsil Bloods, Dwarven Battleragers, etc. are all people qualified for this kind of combat. Wildlanders really don't pack the necessary armor and hit points to survive extended periods of melee combat against several foes or the sneak attacks of rogues, which is what dual-wielding in d20 is really for. If you don't want to give him a bow just yet, give him some arrows, or even a bowstring which he can later use to complete the bow he crafts out of icewood.
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Dirigible
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 11:30:18 PM »

Or, you know, change it to a different kind of item. Like a crown, or a cloak, or a sceptre.
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smeagol
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2006, 03:23:45 AM »

I would not give Ghost if the characters don't need it. This item is really cool because of its backstory, not because of its abilities.

My two options:
1. the PCs interact with its current wielder, and are asked to carry it and give it to his last living heir (it will be a quest in itself, since they will have to idnetify and find him). Meanwhile, they might face difficult situations during which they'd be tempted to use the covenant item, only to discover they're not "meant" to use it.

2. Give Ghost to one of your players, but change its abilities (or its nature: change from a greatsword to a bow, dagger, etc that would fit one of the PCs' style) so it would be a helpful item to the character.
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"Il n'est pas besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer" - Devise de la famille d'Orange
Glacialis
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 07:34:20 AM »

The wildlander in question does indeed have two weapon fighting and greatly enjoys melee. He's backup for our defender, but even then he has a higher AC than she does right now. He may not be the absolute best for melee fighting, but I refuse the assertion that wildlanders are only archers.

I want the characters to interact with Nalford. When the non-Shadow NPCs start to take notice of the party, it will be a ripple effect. The personality remnants will interact with them, but once they're done other NPCs will start to take notice. Unfortunately for the PCs, this means that they'll start seeing them as hostile. They should be mostly out of the town by then, but they'll take a few swipes.

Ghost would be cool, but I don't believe it fits. As a quest like smeagol suggested it may work, but I don't know if I can work that in. At the very least they'll have the experience seared into their souls by the time they leave. twisted Whether anyone comes away with an extra item of any sort is doubtful at this point.
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 12:54:54 PM »

I'm not saying they're only archers. I'm just saying they are not frontline combatants the way fighters and barbarians can be. Wildlanders have many abilities and skills useful both in and outside combat.

Sounds like you have Nalford all prepped out though. Sounds like it's gonna be a blast. Smiley
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Glacialis
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2006, 07:11:44 AM »

Ended up not gaming todya, one of the four players couldn't make it.
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smeagol
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2006, 07:36:40 AM »

Sorry for you Glacialis. It's always frustrating when a session is fully prepped and must be cancelled because someone can't make it.

Better luck next time!  angel
« Last Edit: September 17, 2006, 06:06:44 AM by smeagol » Logged
Glacialis
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2006, 07:38:47 AM »

By the time we started gaming for an hour or so, it was obvious I wasn't prepped. Well, I think I tried to stretch out things that the player could have missed, which I thought would be alright for 2-3 hours. Nope, too much detail to stretch the one thing into an hour.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2006, 10:41:40 AM »

They've gone back in time, or so the players are thinking. Had some nice mutton stew during the midnight festival, woke up in the barracks, etc. The SE corner wall and four towers are still standing. Barely enough room for 60 people plus horses. Anyway! They interact with people there for the Calling of Honors. LOTS of storytelling! I'll be using the story on p61-62 of FoS, and the Herald of Winter. Wish I could find a good story of Xione..wait, no. I need a story for the dwarves to tell! Ahh well. They'll interact with these spirits that they know are dead, and who they know will "die" later tonight. But it all seems real, and indeed anything a stronger spirit gives them will physically return with them.

For now, I show them what once was, the pride and the skill and the honor.

When they return, it will be snowing. Hard. The wind is mightily blowing, has been since twilight. Good thing they took shelter: nothing grows in this blighted valley, what with the soil being painfully acidic and all. They'll have to run to the ruined walls too, taking yet more damage. Teehee! The legates used a blight ogre as a material component when they cast the magics to raze Nalford...with the orcs stil lin it. Some angry orc ghosts, too. One of which might just demand that the PCs kill some legates in return for letting them return to the living world. 'Cause he's part of the forces barring the way out.

Speaking of horses, if the PCs are nice to a pitiful character I've yet to come up with, he'll do his job and get them hay and for their horses.

You guys seen the sequel to Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick? Remember how the emperor's soul can act independantly of his physical body? That's the effect I'm describing the stronger ghosts as having. Giant of a man, Wulf, most impressive warrior in town. He "turned" and looked at them. That's when the PCs got even more creeped out than their players.

I've already thrown Forsaken at them. Forsaken who eat heepa-heepa's, their childhood guardians. What more can I do? Grin

Well, besides the carrion stag + herd shortly after they enter the forest...
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2006, 12:33:17 PM »

You get an evil cookie for this. Smiley
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Glacialis
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2006, 08:51:06 AM »

I imagine the assault on Nalford at the end of the Third Age like this:

Orcs. Lots of orcs. Orcs who have never tasted the flesh of human and fey, but desperately want to.

Blight ogres and other living siege engines. Lots of them, but they'll let the orcs go in to wear out the defenders first. Maybe make a few holes in the defenses, but that's it.

Legates, trying to keep control of the orcs who very much do not like humans telling them what to do. Magical artillery support, but only if troops encounter trouble. Keeping enemy channelers tied up. It's more fun that way, and they get to study the defenses.

Dark channelers. Keeping enemy channelers tied up.

Once the orcs have had some fun and the town is halfway destroyed, the siege critters, legates and the bulk of the other forces will pull back. The legates use a blight ogre or two as a material component/sacrifice, and a rain of acid engulfs Nalford. It will take a few days to hit the rest of the valley, but it will eventually extinguish all life there.

- - - - - - -

What do you think? Any way to make it more interesting? The PCs are only 2nd level, but they aren't going to be the main targets. Orcs have been played up as the almost invincible, and I'm using the armor as DR variant from Unearthed Arcana. Many orcs wear heavy armor. twisted For future fights, good thing we have two Defenders! The point of this is to introduce them to orcs. The biggest and baddest orcs will get to go first, but the PCs hopefully won't take those on. They'll be surprised and are probably going to be taking on the goblinoids that snuck around the sides first, and a few weaker orcs too. Only the biggest and baddest get to do the head-on charge. Wink

I'm going to be using the template for the flaming undead in Fury of Shadow, and making them acidic instead. Will post the stat block for that during a lull in the Exalted game tonight, but it really shouldn't be that hard to alter. They'll be constantly melting and regenerating similar to a Forsaken, but the HP will stay the same. It's just a visual. PCs will encounter these things when the wind really kicks up the acidic ash.
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2006, 05:18:30 PM »

Dragon/airborne-attack? Demons tunneling in underground? Rampant fires? Citizens panicking? Izrador-cult inside the city attempting to attack somewhere?
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