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Rifter
Looking around
(12/17/02 6:24:26 pm)
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Player has an elemental familiar
Does his familiar have a chance to turn evil, every time they go in?

SSShadowcat7
Here for a while
(12/17/02 8:43:45 pm)
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Re: Player has an elemental familiar
Quick answer, I'd say absolutely.

Others have much longer answers, though, I'm sure.

Thrommel
Can't leave now (mod)
(12/17/02 9:07:32 pm)
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Re: Player has an elemental familiar
Well, they're not my answers, but they ARE long ones. Try this out...

First, Abelard said
Quote:
I would definitely have the "evil elemental" thing affect the elemental familiar in some way. It's too cool not to! Plus, what a great way for your players to experience this aspect of elemental evil. They won't be able to just forget about it when the summoned elemental goes away...

But, that being said, I'd be careful about how you handle it. First of all, the familiar's master should definitely know something is going on, even before his familiar actually succumbs to the effect, so it won't be a complete surprise. The master should know that his familiar "made a saving throw" even though that's not the exact mechanic here. (Hmm, perhaps that would be a good mechanic to bring in though: give the familar a Will save on top of the %chance.)

I'd also consider making it (for the familiar at least) a temporary effect, something that would wear off in a day or two after leaving the affected areas. At least, make it that way at first, and in the less strongly tainted areas. That way, the familiar's master will have plenty of chance through research or whatever to figure out what's going on.

When and if the familiar does change alignments, I wouldn't sever the master-familiar bond right away. AFAIK, there aren't rules to cover this situation, so you'd have to play it by ear. At the least, the familiar would become more independent and might refuse or subvert some of its masters instructions. You could consider dropping or reducing some of its other familiar abilities, especially ones that seem to relate most directly to the master-familiar bond (e.g., share spells).

For the most strongly tainted areas (the elemental node for sure, and possibly the inner fane), consider having the alignment change effect be permanent if the familar succumbs. Again, make sure the master's familiar knows this is a possibility. Then, when it's time to visit the elemental node, he has a decision to make: leave the familiar behind, or risk losing it forever if it goes over to the dark side (giving it a Will save here would at least give it a chance!).

A really smart player might look for a third option: discover some way of protecting the familiar from this effect. I think that sounds like a great seed for a side adventure! (It kind of depends on whether or not you want any side adventures whether you'd follow this up.)

Then, madfox said
Quote:
There has been a discusion on this board about this subject before and I will repeat my opinion: a familiar should NEVER become evil or turn upon its master. It is part of the caster, it is not an independent creature. The fact that the familiar immidiately becomes a normal creature when its master dies should point this out. At the very least the caster will know something strange is happening. As a player I would really be angry if this happens without any chance to learn about it and to prevent it from happening. So if you really want to go ahead (instead of simply ruling that the mind of the caster protects its familiar against the unholy influences), you should give the player a fair warning and a chance to prevent it. A necklace of mindshielding comes to mind. An other option would be that the familiar becomes evil, but that it will not act against its masters wishes. Personally, I would simply make it immune.

But Andorax may have said it best of all...
Quote:
When this discussion last came up, I proposed a solution...I know not everyone agrees 100%, but I strongly recommend this over what all else has been suggested.

Yes, it WILL corrupt a familiar, and eventually turn it evil. Not permanently...with time, patience, and encouragement the familiar will get over it someday.

No, it will NOT turn against it's master. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. That doesn't mean it hasn't suffered a major shift in personality.

"But we don't really need prisoners, do we? Can I burn them? Please? Oh, just let me burn them a little...it'll soften them up for you when you want to question them. No? Fine...I'll go dim over here and sulk."

Remember here...evil does not mean "attack PCs on sight". If a familiar were to shift to evil from the corruptive influence of this place, then he'll reflect that in his personality. He's still loyal to his master (You can be both loyal and evil). He's still going to HELP them in their fight (You can still want to destroy Tharizdun's lackeys and be evil). He's just going to have a very different outlook on life than the happy little flickering flame that the mage recruited in the first place.

-Thrommel, who has a photographic memory he likes to call 'File, Save As...'

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(12/18/02 1:01:01 am)
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Re: Player has an elemental familiar
This is - as also shown in the replies - not the first time this has come up. I think it's FAQ time...

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Rifter
Looking around
(12/18/02 1:04:24 am)
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Well, I tried to search for it
I tried searching for it in the message board, but didn't come up with anything, of course, I just tried a few quickies, and didn't research deeply, since I had the game going on tonight, and it just hit me. :-) Thanks for the replies! Next time I see Andorax, maybe I will have to speak with him further on this.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/18/02 7:35:26 am)
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Re: Well, I tried to search for it
I'm here all the time, Rifter. What more do you want to know about what I've said here?

There's no need to rush it. If you're like most DMs, you'll be spending MONTHS of real game time in the CRM. If you're looking for a mechanic, I'd suggest throwing a D4 every day they spend, or time they enter, the CRM. On a 1, move the familiar's alignment a step closer to CE, starting from the caster's alignment. If it's still hanging in there when they hit the Outer Fane, ratchet it up to 1-2, 1-3 in the Inner.

Remember that the familiar IS in part an extention of the caster's will, and in part an independant creature. It has it's own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and so forth...but it will never act in direct opposition to the caster and will, within the boundaries of it's new alignment and outlook, serve the caster's best interests.

Please note...this also serves to provide a very good mirror to the caster for any of their own skeletons. In some ways, treat the Familiar like a child, one that learns from the caster's example. If the familiar ever sees the caster 'borrow' something from another PC, it'll filch whatever it wants, possably using it itself, possably giving it to it's master. If the familiar sees the caster attacking from surprise, it'll happily use ambushes and dirty tactics. If the familiar observes the caster lying (to friends or foes), it'll assume that it's ok to do so. The limits of the familiar will be set by the caster's own example and behaviors more than anything else.


"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Rifter
Looking around
(12/18/02 2:33:18 pm)
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My player is elemental Savant.
He is an elemental savant. He is at 4th level, so he is "turning elemental".

I am suggesting that he play his character, while in the CRM with evil tendencies. At this point, I am not going to make anything permenent, but at the next level, he is basically 1/2 elemental. (though, still Half-Orc). Any suggestions on how to handle this? The player in question, is a good role player, so I am leaning tword quirks, and such, instead of direct transformation.

My thought, is since he is still half-orc and Elemental, the elemental evil can't completely compel him. I am wondering what you guys suggest for him, as things go on... into the outer and inner fane, then the nodes.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(12/18/02 2:50:31 pm)
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Re: My player is elemental Savant.
PCs, I really wouldn't suggest messing with directly without a VERY good reason (Demonstone).

My advice is to not ask, or impose, any rules or requirements on the PC himself about becomming evil. Instead, make a point of "tweaking" with him. Try to use the RP and description to work the evil soaking into his elemental nature.

Examples:

Describe to him how the rooms have a "slick" feeling to them...almost as if a palpable film of evil is coating everything. Nobody else, even the Paladin, can perceive this.

From time to time, whisper evil suggestions to him. For example, if the Elemental Savant finds a treasure chest first, just lean over and say "Think what you could do with this all to yourself...no need to mention it. Why waste it on your companions?." If the player asks about it, tell him that's what his character is hearing as he looks at the chest.

Special effects. The Fire Savant's fire spells take on a faint purple hue. The Water Savant has a thin black film that oozes off of her when she enters into a body of water.


Basically, let the player run it as free choice, but tempt and torment them in ways that a less-pure, less-ethically played NPC would succumb to over time.

This adventure is evil enough as it is, you don't need to MAKE your players go evil just for choosing to play a Savant or a Genasi. For crying out loud, these are the sorts of beings who are going to be MOST wanting to fight what this place is.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Rifter
Looking around
(12/18/02 5:17:17 pm)
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Thanks
Ok, that was the direction I was kind of leaning. More RPing. the tendencies is a RP aspect, not a hard rule truth. It allows him more "latitude", without imposing penalties. I was going to peruse the book of vile darkness, and get some ideas for him. But, it sounds like you are saying what I was kind of thinking about.

ronin
Here for a while
(12/18/02 8:03:00 pm)
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Re: elemental familiars
Let me tell you how things went in my campaign. I had a player with an elemental savant PC with a fire elemental familiar. This player had even spent XP to improve his familiar using some of the rules from Spells and Spellcraft so I wanted to be careful about what happened with the elemental.

I rolled the percentage dice as suggested in the module but I cut the chance in half. This enabled the elemental to avoid the evil influence of the place until the party was in the Inner Fane. The group finished off the enemies on level 1 and then head up stairs. That's when it got ugly.

The elemental savant failed his WILL save for being overcome by the evil of the place and falls down out cold. The group picks him up and presses onward! They encounter the dealer and 3 PCs draw cards. These 3 are two clerics and a paladin who promptly lose their clerical/paladin abilities (though they don't know this yet).

The savant awakes with a WIS score of 5. After informed of this he passes me a note stating he will play this as sort of absentminded and off in the distance not paying much attention to his surroundings. After a quick nod from me we continue with the game.

Next level one of the clerics and the paladin find their powers absent when they cannot detect evil in the room with the small box on the altar. They decide it is time to leave at this point and move out of this area to teleport out.

This is when the other cleric finds he has lost his powers. He attempts to teleport (travel domain) part of the group with him while the savant takes the rest. The other cleric makes a spellcraft check and realizes that his fellow cleric's powers are gone as well. The savant meanwhile fails his SR check so on the second attempt the enlightened cleric (who made the spellcraft check) decides to stay with the rest of the group and so the savant teleports out by himself (leaving his familiar behind).

This is when I inform the savant player about his familiars new outlook in life. The group moves upstairs and battles the Third. The elemental flees downstairs and eventually winds up face to face with master of the torture chamber. Some good RPing and a few bluff checks later and our friendly elemental is now burning the feet of one of the captured NPCs!

Meanwhile our heroes upstairs are fairing badly: one PC flees down to hide in the corpse of a dino, two others are captured in a forcecage, and the last is put down to negative HPs and dragged down to the torture chamber by the hair of his head. Eventually the hiding PC gets the guts to go after the PC in the torture chamber and witnesses the elemental's participation (this is the same PC who drew the balance card from the deck and went from N to LG alignment). He decides the elemental is an enemy (despite the elemental attempting to speak with the PC during the combat) and eventually kills it and Yrthuk as well.

The party managed to get out by the skin of their teeth but the savant wasn't a happy camper. After alot of discussion the savant eventually left the group with a true resurrected familiar (too long to type) and brought in a new PC. It was quite a roller coaster ride for a few sessions.

Needless to say....be careful how you approach this issue. I posted about this subject awhile back and generally played it as Andorax has stated above. The elemental was evil, but would never turn on his master. However he would be alot more "willing" to voice his desires to burn fallen enemy corpses (the party used the elemental in this way alot) and would eventually argue the point if he wasn't allowed to have his way. I was also going to let the savant find out eventually (he was a N character) and give him an opportunity to correct this if he was willing to put forth the effort to do so.

I thought I had it all under control but when the other PC killed the elemental things fell apart quick. The savant PC was not angry about how the temple affected the elemental, just with how the rest of the party reacted once the elemental was dead. He thought it should have been treated as any other party member would and when that didn't happen he was disappointed.

I suppose my point is to be prepared for anything if you decide to introduce this into the game. I think it falls in the same category as the demonstone in that it can bust up a party if things don't go just right. Having said all of that I am glad I played as I did because I think the whole adventure is unique and things out of the ordinary should happen. Hope this helps you out in your game, let us know how it goes for your players.

ronin

Tribal28
Here for a while
(12/19/02 7:09:01 am)
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Re: elemental familiars
This is in responce to the Elemental savant character discussion. If he or she is half elemental remember that on some level many of the clerics of EEE can either turn or control him or her.

Tribal (I'm the fly in the ointment, the pain in the a__, the monkey in the wrench...A quote from my favorite Christmas movie -DIE HARD)

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