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shidara
Here for a while
(3/11/03 7:40 am)
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Demonstone problems
Okay, the demonstone has reared its ugly head in my party, but I'm having problems. . .

The character who got the stone is a CN Dwarf Fighter. Unfortunately, he has not really been playing up the evil too much, and has recently conspired to give the stone to a CN Halfling Barbarian who is essentially already evil.

The problem is this: They see no downsides to turning evil, and have really no interest in switching back to their previous alignment. Perhaps I have been too lax in enforcing the new alignment - that is something I intent to rectify in the near future. Suggestions?

However, I can forsee that when and if the stone is destroyed, they will simply shrug off the "remorse" aspect. I want to come up with some rules to govern this remorse and repentance. How's this sound:

After the demonston is destroyed, those who were once under its influence feel as if a veil has been lifted from their eyes. All at once, the reality of their deeds comes flooding back to them as their alignment returns to normal.

Divine characters (Pal, Clr, Drd) do not regain their spells/divine abilities until an Atonement is cast upon them (See Below).

Upon the stone's destruction, those under its influence must make an unmodified Will save (Base save bonus ONLY) with the following DC (based upon original alignment) to avoid falling unconscious from the shock:

LG: DC30
LN, NG: DC26
LE, N, CG: DC22
NE, CN: DC18
CE: DC14

Failure causes the character to fall unconscious for 1d6 hours. This time spent unconscious does not count as "resting" - the character is plagued by dreams and visions of the evil he has done. Even while awake, the cahracter is plagued by intrusive thoughts an images, which make the cahracter despondent and distracted. The character suffers a -4 penalty to all Cha and Cha-based checks until he can atone (see below).

The first night after the stone is destroyed, and every night thereafter until the character performs some sort of repentance, the character is plagued with nightmares and is preoccupied with thoughts about his dispicable behavior. Any time the character rests or sleeps, he must make an unmodified (only base modifiers) Fort save at the above DC based upon original alignment.

If failed, the character only counts as having rested or slept for half the actual amount of time.

For example, a character who sleeps for 8 hours and fails his save is considered to have slept only 4 hours, and wakes up fatigued. If the character is already fatigued and fails another save, he becomes exhausted.

This Fort save is taken every time a character must rest, including when resting for 1 hour to recover from exhaustion.

If the character becomes exhausted, there is a chance he will become suicidal with such remorse for his actions (this is the demonston's lasting effect). The character must make au unmodified Will save (DC as above). If failed, the character is contemplating suicide. After 24 hours, the character makes another unmodified Will save. If failed, the character MUST take the next opportunity to kill himself.

Remove Curse, cast by a 10th-level caster or higher will remove the need for the saves, but will not remove the nightmares and intrusive thoughts, nor will it restore deity-granted class abilities to divine characters (Paladins, Clerics, Druids). The Cha modifier remains, however, as the weight of his deeds still rests upon the character's shoulders.

Only Atonement can fully absolve the character. Due to the nature of the Demonstone, the caster of Atonement must spend the 500 XP in casting the spell.

Whaddaya think? Too harsh?

Shidara

Tribal28
Here for a while
(3/11/03 10:29 am)
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Re: Demonstone problems
Well I made the annoucement early on that Evil characters could not be played in my game and any characters that were taking evil act risked moving their alignment toward evil. Any character that turned evil would fall under my control. (My players HATE for that to happen) While its a bit late for you to do this in your game it might be good advice for others.

As for the remose part - Maybe having the characters fall into a depression for what they have done. In game terms I think that would mean a -1 (or maybe -2) penalty on all attacks, damage, skill checks and such. I also think certain special abilities would be hard to use as well. How could a psychotically depressed barbarian rage?? I'm talking about the type of depression that they bring you in for treatment for. Not just I'm a little sad.

Ok thats just my 2 cents. Maybe its harsh hard to tell.

Tribal

DM Dan76
Here for a while
(3/11/03 6:42 pm)
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Re: Demonstone problems
My group just went through the whole demonstone turning the PC's evil thing so I'll tell you how things played out.

The CN halfling Rogue was the lucky fellow to claim the "luckstone" as his and it only took him a single night to fall victim to it's curse. Now the player loved the idea of getting to play an evil character (I don't allow evil PC's in my game, except for times like these). He was always on the edge of evil before the stone, but was able to restrain himself. With the stone in hand the player plotted a nasty death for all his comrades. His plans were foiled by a simple hold person and a natural 1 on his saving throw, but all in all the player enjoyed his brief bit of evilness.

I should add that eariler, this character and another (also CN) killed Tal and burnt down his store. They both thought they were quite clever, but after they realised that the law enforcement (or what passes for it) from Rastor knew that a halfling and a half-elf (the two murderer/arsons in question) were seen fleeing from the crime scene, and that they were wanted for questioning, they were a bit scared.

The point is that I made them realise that there would be reactions from NPC's for their evil actions. If players think that they can get away with whatever they feel like, then it's tough to control them. If they know that killing people in town will get them in serious trouble with the law, then they may not do it.

On the other hand, you could let your PC's turn evil. It would all depend on the make-up of the group (tough if there is a paladin), but I can't see why a few PC's couldn't be evil. They are out to kill they EEE cult; not because the cult is bad and the PC's need to save the world; but because the cult has alot of treasures that need liberating, or something along those lines.

I do like Tribal28's suggestion about characters falling into a state of depression. They would be mopey and depressed untill they received an atonement. I'd also throw in a negetive modifier to initiative as well. I know when I'm feeling blue, I'm pretty slow to react. I would certianly make it a -2 on all attacks, damage, skill checks, saving throws and initiative.

Anyway, hope my rambling has helped you in some way.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(3/11/03 9:31 pm)
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Re: Demonstone problems
I would probably give a player a chance to play out the effects of the stone, but if they were not doing so properly (not playing up the effects of the evil enough) I would tell them that I would take over their character if things don't change.

The demonstone inspires particularly sadistic and cruel behaviour, so the average party will notice when the victim suddenly becomes interested in torturing prisoners, etc. just for kicks.

As far as playing the depression up, I would think the "depression" would be more along the lines of not being able to join the party at all ("I'm not a hero, think about what I have done, I'm the one who deserves to die" or "I've already inflicted enough pain on the world. I can't bear the thought of inflicting more suffering.") and that would be at the low end, rather than just -2 on your rolls.

On the other hand I wouldn't require or movtivate the victim to betray their party while they had the stone. Raiding the temple forces would give an evil person plenty of opportunity to inflict pain and suffering on prisoners and others. So as long as the party turned a blind eye to that, the victim very well might continue to help the party.

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Midus
Here for a while
(3/11/03 10:25 pm)
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Re: Demonstone problems
The demon stone makes its victim into one sick little puppy. Think psycopath. Party members should catch on. Plus, there is no reason why somebody with the demon stone would want to "make more evil people." That is metagaming.

shidara
Here for a while
(3/12/03 2:26 pm)
Reply
Re: Demonstone problems
Cordo:
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
On the other hand I wouldn't require or movtivate the victim to betray their party while they had the stone. Raiding the temple forces would give an evil person plenty of opportunity to inflict pain and suffering on prisoners and others. So as long as the party turned a blind eye to that, the victim very well might continue to help the party.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

That's exactly the conclusion my evil player and I came up with. However, he's not really playing up the depravity so much.

I'm considering telling him that the needs to "evil it up" some more, take it up a notch or two.

I'm also considering giving the cleric of Pelor in the party a vision or dream that the dwarf was corrupted, and that he is to cleanse the poor soul. This cleric cast Commune after she found out the dwarf was evil, but didn't ask the right questions to lead her to undertand that the dwarf was changed, and could be changed back. Ooh, frustration!

Now add in a player who's eagerly looking forward to turning evil, and I've just got a huge mess on my hands . . .

Shidara

Cordo Crowfoot
Here for a while
(3/12/03 3:51 pm)
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Re: Demonstone problems
Quote:
This cleric cast Commune after she found out the dwarf was evil, but didn't ask the right questions to lead her to undertand that the dwarf was changed, and could be changed back. Ooh, frustration!
This is certainly due to the failure of your player to play up his sadistic, cruel, and psychopathic nature, making it clear something is going on... Maybe you can give your player a list of vile things his character is convinced to do by the demonstone.

Since you are saying the player gets a kick out of being evil, I guess the dynamic you are saying is happening is that the player doesn't want to be caught, therefore he is playing it down on purpose. Is this the case?

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

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