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Here for a while
(2/25/03 7:52 am)
Demonstone discussion
The Demonstone recently made its presence known in the party, converting a CN Dwarven Fighter to CE (not that anybody's noticed so far . . .)

I have a few questions about the Demonstone, and I'd like opinions from you veterans who may have already dealt with this (*cough*Andorax*cough*).

1) If held in a Bag of Holding/Heward's Handy Haversack, is the Demonstone's influence heard by the bearer of the Bag/Haversack? I ruled that since the item is technically on another plane, its influence is not felt - no bonus, but no will save or whisperings either.

2) Is the victim aware that the Demonstone has changed him? I played it like the character just woke up one day (after failing the save) and his whole world outlook has changed. He's not aware that the demonstone changed him, just that he's had an evil epiphany of sorts.

3) Is the victim aware that he no longer needs the stone to be in his presence to gain the +1 luck bonus?

I am not sure about this one. On one hand, if he is aware that he no longer needs possession, but NOT aware that it turned him evil, his evil, selfish nature would probably make him NOT want to share it - he may even try to destroy it, to deny its power to anybody else!

However, if he DID know that it made him evil, he may try to give it to someone else or hide it in their equipment in an attempt to corrupt others.

Perhaps the Demonstone tries to convince him that he no longer needs it and should give it to someone else? Perhaps now, as long as the victim keeps it within 5ft, the stone tries to convince him to give it away, requiring another Will save to avoid giving it away or slipping it into somebody else's backpack.

4) CE is not Chaotic Stupid. The dwarf has pretty good Wis and Int scores, and so is not stupid. He's aware that he's travelling with folks who do not share his new world outlook, and so is trying to "fit in" as best he can. However, he cannot violate his new alignment just to maintain his cover, so I need a way to judge his RP.

I'm thinking about developing a "Code of Ethics" with the player (and perhaps even ALL the players) to better be able to judge the character's alignment and RP. What should be a part of the Demonstone's particular brand of CE?

* Always advocates torture over interrogation
* Never accepts surrender
* Always performs brutal coup de gras on downed foes (smashes head, guts foe - no namby-pamby slitting throats)
* Never wants to negotiate, always "Kill kill kill"
* Absolutely refuses to leave any traditional enemy of the dwarves alive - Orcs, Kobolds, Goblins, etc. - even if it means returning later to finish the job.
* Keeps grisly mementos of fallen enemies - fingers, ears, etc.

Any suggestions?


Still here? Wow.
(2/25/03 10:03 am)
Re: Demonstone discussion

1) I would say that no, being in a bag of holding doesn't insulate you. It's still "in your posession".

This ruling is, admittedly, based on a questionable source. From the 2nd ed adventure "the Rod of Seven Parts", a specific notation is made that placing a segment of the Rod inside a bag of holding, portable hole, or so forth in no way insulates the bearer from the effects of the Rod (namely, becomming increasingly more Lawful).

2) I would say that yes, the victim is aware of the source of the change. After all, it's been making semi-audible whispers to him all this time. Something of a "yes, yes...I understand now. Of course!"

3) Ditto #2 above.

Now, as to behaviors for a bearer of the Demonstone....

The Demonstone is neutral (no not Neutral!) with regards to wanting to corrupt one individual over another. It would not sway the bearer in favor of, or against, passing it on. The Bearer, on the other hand, may have their own opinions on the matter.

Example: Fredrick knew the Demonstone had corrupted him, and wanted to do the cruelest thing he could think of to Lyssa, who had spurrned his advances. He gave her the Demonstone, in hopes that it's corruptive influence would turn her away from her deity.

The Demonstone, however, does have a sense of self-preservation, and under NO circumstances would it urge, or even "allow", it's bearer to destroy it. This is the one thing that is absolute...the bearer must do all that he can to prevent it from being destroyed.

As for the particular "brand" of CE from the Demonstone, a lot of that depends on the player in question. If you have an excellent roleplayer in the Dwarf's player, I'd just go have lunch with the player, be open tell him EVERYTHING about the stone (well, except for the give away/destroy part) and then discuss with him how this will affect his character's outlook on life.

Each individual's take on CE is unique, and CE doesn't necesarily mean that they're going to go after the party (at least not right away) nor join up with the badguys.

Your guidelines sound good, I'd recommend (not require) them of the player. Show him the list, by all means.

Then, ask him some deep personal questions:

Who in the party does your character like the least? Why? Think about any wrongs they've done you, and magnify them in your mind tenfold. Now, plot revenge in a fitting manner.

When that person is attacked/ruined or the plot fails, ask him "now, who is your next least favorite person?"

Under the influence of the Demonstone, Fredrick:

[li]Used a flaming dagger to torture the bugbear priest.
[li]Slipped back after leaving him tied off to kill said priest off.
[li]Gave the Demonstone to Lyssa to turn her evil (and away from her deity)
[li]Created an Astral Construct to disrupt negotiations with the Water Naga.
[li]Slaughtered the five Orcs they'd hired to keep guard during the night.
[li]Trapped Lyssa with him in hopes of either killing her or convincing her to turn evil. Kept asking "why haven't you turned yet?" This was two days later.
[li]Swapped the contents of a potion of healing for a potion of love to further "hose over" the PCs when he fled...this was after fleeing from Lyssa.
[li]Slaughtered several townsfolk in Rastor, planting evidence to make it seem the other PCs' faults.
[li]Convinced the high priest of the Temple in Rastor to not return the items being kept under guard there to the others, since they'd "gone evil"
[li]Trapped the items left in the Dwarven Shrine in the CRM, and finally
[li]Hung himself off the end of the altar in the Dwarven Shrine when Lyssa caught on and destroyed the Stone.

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

Here for a while
(2/25/03 10:25 am)
Re: Demonstone discussion
Just be very carefull, this thing has more than enough capability of not only ruining the adventure but wrecking a gaming group, if handled (and that involves lots of different levels from in game to out of game) improperly/overly aggressive.

I strongly suggest looking at the FAQ and other threads regarding the demonstone.

"It takes an uncommon mind to think of these things, Hobbes." - Calvin

Here quite a while
(2/25/03 10:37 am)
Re: Demonstone discussion
In that line of thinking, you should reconsider the idea that CE always means kill, kill, kill. Evil does not necessarily imply kill. At least, it doesn't need to apply to the other party members. Even CE people have "friends" of a sort, so there's no reason to try to eliminate the party members outright. The affected PC may instead decide to exact revenge on a merchant in Verbobonc, for example, by framing him with illegal goods and informing the town guard.

Andorax provides some good suggestions on what his player did. Handing the demonstone over to Lyssa was absolutely awesome. There are a lot of other things to do besides kill. Tal Chammish is another great example.

Here for a while
(2/26/03 8:53 pm)
Re: Demonstone discussion
You should note that the description of the demonstone states that "characters turned evil by the demonstone are particularly despicable in their sadistic and horrible actions". I think Firre's behaviour and description in the module gives an indication as to what this actually means - dismembered body parts in his sleeping quarters, lots of time torturing the bard, other people in teh Fire Temple (also CE, generally) avoiding him because he's too bloodthirsty...

I would furthermore say such characters would probably take great pleasure in betraying their own party members and torturing them - a truly evil and sadistic act. It's a TPK in the making, especially if the character is smart enough to bide his or her time and cut a secret deal with the Temple forces. Still, the party have some time because there's no indication that this happens straight away - but the signs should be there for all to see, to give the character a chance to be "saved" from the demonstone...

Still here? Wow.
(2/27/03 7:36 am)
Re: Demonstone discussion
Yes, but remember Caedrel, the PC can also be "particularly despicable in their sadistic and horrible actions" toward the temple.

More than likely, this individual will turn on the party as well...but there's nothing about being vilely CE that makes you suddenly "like" the cultists.

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

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