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Here for a while
(3/3/03 2:25 pm)
Tentacle Rods
Have you guys been allowing the PC's to use the Tentacle Rods as they dispatch their owners? I'm thinking about having them bestow a negative level or two to non-evil folks who try to use them. I'm worried: My current group has 3 rogues in it, and if someone is able to start grappling enemies willy-nilly, it will change the face of future battles significantly.



Here for a while
(3/3/03 2:30 pm)
Re: Tentacle Rods
Well you have to ask yourself, "Would/Do I let the PC's use the different swords aligned with the temples as they dispatch their owners?" If you said yes, then why not let them use the tenticle rods? It is a magic item with magical powers to be used. Also the attack and grapple bonus isn't too high that people will be able to grapple everything the come across "willy-nilly."

Here for a while
(3/3/03 4:02 pm)
I would consider giving them levels of insanity (using the system in the BoB) if you're using this in your campaign. (This is different from the insanity points that the EEE/Big T clerics have; see the BoB)

One insanity point, plus one every time they kill an enemy using it (with some sort of way to let them know that the tentacle rod oozes madness and is affecting them) might work.

You might also have them make Will saves daily: DC 4, plus 4 for every step they are away from chaotic evil. (These numbers probably should be adjusted, this is off the top of my head.) Thus a LG character would pick up an insanity point each day unless he succeeded at a DC 20 will save.

The attitude "these are items here to be used, like any other" is a perfectly valid true neutral or chaotic neutral attitude, and characters of those alignments wouldn't have a problem using them. A paladin or LG/NG character, on the other hand...

I guess it partly depends on how you see the rods. Are they just magical items that happen to have effects in line with Big T's portfolio (like the beads of force), or are they special artifacts of Tharizdun that are in some way tainted?

Here for a while
(3/4/03 7:59 pm)
Thanks for the ideas
I like the idea of the rods turning people mad. I doubt anyone will use them anyways--we just had one character betray the party after being corrupted by an encounter with Ogremoch (the Prince of Earth). It was some intense roleplaying, and lots of fun...but the characters are pretty nervous about corruption-type things now.

I'm of the opinion that the rods are more infused with Tharizdun energy than the swords; the rods would certainly detect as evil.

Here for a while
(3/5/03 9:31 am)
They Feed!
I've described the tentacle rods as feeling 'hungry' when carried but not used often enough (DM call). This becomes an ache whenever it's touched if it hasn't 'fed'.
This has had no game effect in itself, but is a nagging reminder of the weird semi-sentience of the thing.

Whenever the rod hits with all three tentacles and the save is failed, I've described the victim as shrivelling from within, as life-energy is sucked out of them (I've been lucky in that this has coincided with lethal damage on more than one occasion) - I haven't changed the effects of the failed save, just added some flavour.

On any hit, and particularly whenever it's used to kill (failed save or not), the wielder gets a rush of extreme pleasure (use your own descriptions please, this is a family-forum :) ) which is pretty damned game effects, but I haven't had to lean on the player to make her use the thing by preference - she's had a real battle of conscience and its 'corrupting' effect only became apparent when she had to throw it to someone else to use (needed a 'big-guns' +3 weapon) - the new wielder actually scored three hits and killed with it...and got the guilty bonus prize of the 'rush'.

I also gave the (LG) wielder a negative level while it was in hand. He had a very serious talk with the rest of the group (in the absence of the LN cleric - original wielder) about its corrupting influence - he his one use of it (the player pulled off a very convincing blush, too) and could only begin to imagine how insidious its touch must be for the cleric...she no longer wields the rod, but does want to...she's in 'rehab', but may 'have to' use it again...

...but then, my game is full of internal-struggle-corrupting-touch things - the Dark Fruit, the Infernal(Abyssal -sic) Device, the Tentacle's just one more step towards madness and capitulation to the (ever-patient) Dark God.


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