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msherman
Here for a while
(5/12/03 7:35 pm)
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I talk too much
I'm afraid I've dropped one hint too many to my party about Lareth's true nature, way too early in the game (they're currently camped outside Rastor, on their way to hit the CRM for the first time). They've met Lareth twice, and after the second time, I made an offhand comment about how I was glad that their cleric hadn't hit 7th level before the meeting, because I'd hate for him to have 4th level spells when they met Lareth. Gulp. Put that together with the note Dunrat had from Naquent (I used an expanded version cribbed mostly from someone here, which referred to the search for "The One" possibly in Nulb), and the party isn't going to be surprised at all when they discover Lareth's the Champion. So, I'd like to throw them off that trail, a bit. I've got two different ideas for that:

1) Lareth's a red herring, and someone else entirely is the champion. Any ideas for who it could be?

2) Have them meet up with Lareth again, and this time they fight. The party's all 7th level now, so Lareth would surely die in this fight (only to be raised by Hedrack later on in the plot). The only question is, how do I get them to meet Lareth again? I doubt they'll be heading back to Nulb any time soon -- is there any reason for Lareth to head for Rastor?

Or, alternatively, does anyone have any other ideas to help me out here?

Siobharek 
Racecar
(5/12/03 10:59 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: I talk too much
The subtleties of conversation are usually lost in written form. I really don't see how that could be too strong a hint. The note mentioning "the One" in Nulb may in itself be too much, but I don't see that your remark is too revealing.

Alternative Champions...? Tricky. The identity of the Champion doesn't have to be revealed until the group finds Hedrack's journal. If you're worried, start mentioning the Champion when the group is half-way through the CRM. If the players then say, "Oh, that's probably that dumb hermit in Nulb, remember?", then you might consider have someone else step up to the plate. At that point, the characters will have met many other opponents, and one of them may be a good Champion. Remember that the Champion need not have survived his/her/its first encounter with the PCs, so you'll have considerable leeway in choosing the right champion.

I considered suggesting Xaod. That would be pretty neat. But one lost paladin in the adventure is probably enough.

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

msherman
Calandar
(5/13/03 3:27 am)
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Re: I talk too much
I left out some stuff, but they've already had that conversation: "The One? So, the cult is looking for someone. I bet it's Lareth." They already know who Lareth is, after a very interesting session in which they brought him some whiskey from the bar and completely avoided any significant interaction with Wat by sending the party Rogue in alone, who got the whiskey and got out of the bar in 4 total rounds, and make his one Fortitude save. Lareth told them about the cult pestering him, asked for the party to pass along a special "greeting" to Naquent and Hedrack (first time I used that name), and how he honestly had no idea which god he was getting his damn spells from any more.

I expect the party to start finding more references to the Champion pretty soon; Mereclar's letter talks about the champion pretty openly, for example, and I think that the main gate will be their first entrance way (they have a Ranger, and Tymerian also gave them some pretty good info about the overall layout of the ToAC).

Xaod's already dead (heroically, while defeating his hated Hobgoblin tribe with the party), so making him the champion would be particularly devious. I'll keep that in mind.

Another possibility is Nierethi; a couple sessions ago, the party went back to the moathouse to fight the cockatrices, and discovered that Nierethi and Questin beat them to it, leaving Yundi behind as a statue, and stealing fake-Lareth's gear and skull. The party proceeded to rob his rented room, burn his spell books, steal all his gear, humiliate him publically (using a hat of disguise and an 'amulet of the silver tongue' +10 bluff item), and finally leave him half-naked being dragged out of town by the rejuvinated Yundi's wolf. :evil Historically, no good has ever come of this party leaving an enemy alive at the end of the session, so I imagine they'll be looking over their shoulder for a levelled and vengeful Nierethi for the rest of the game.

Infiniti2000
Racecar
(5/13/03 5:31 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: I talk too much
Maybe you do talk too much, but nothing is lost. Certainly, you should not pick the champion this early. I'd suggest you wait until the party enters the Outer Fane (i.e. a long time from now). Chances are that the party themselves will pick the champion for you, or that a suitable candidate will emerge from the fallen. You don't know how the campaign will turn out by the time the Champion is found, so don't worry about selecting one now and having to force the story to follow your plot. Let the story unfold.

There is enough information such that a very smart party (nearly perfect) could ascertain Lareth's purpose at the same point your group is at. So, you gave them a little push, but the fact that they picked up on it shows a very smart party. If they totally remove Lareth from any possibility of ressurection, but they still hear rumors of a Champion as they progress through the mines, you will hear your group start discussing it, and if you listen, providing you with ideas.

Party: "Oh, so maybe Lareth isn't the guy. Maybe it's that disgusting cleric, Firre, who we just dumped into the Stalagos. Damn, we should have mutilated his body!"

DM, thinking: "Heh heh...good idea, thanks!"

Even better, if a PC dies or gets captured, and chooses to create another player, you might have a prime Champion candidate.

Calendil
Calandar
(5/13/03 8:46 am)
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Re: I talk too much
One of the better ways to do this is to have Lareth encounter the party again, muttering about seeking "Him" and make it sound like he's looking for the champion. If they decide to kill him, let him mutter "I understand!" as his last breath and try to dispel some of the aura of suspense by saying things like "the shadows seem to retreat from the renewed light..." Then, when he's dead, they'll come to think "Hey, maybe he's NOT the Champion." Later on, Hedrack can ressurect Lareth (it only requires a part of the original body and a lock of hair will do) and Lareth will then come into his own AS the Champion. From there out, keep his identity secret from the Party, revealing it in horrifying glory at the Final Battle, where Lareth emerges, proclaiming "Foolish mortals! Your simple minds cannot begin to comprehend the vastness of His might! Even DEATH cannot stop what He has planned. So consider this as I send you to your demise!" or some rediculously cool statement as that. This works especially well if the party doesn't stop to consider that Resurrection can work FOR the enemy as well.

The guy from Belgium
A song from the sixties
(5/13/03 12:56 pm)
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Re: I talk too much
yeah, giving away too much can be a pain sometimes...

but not all is lost: you're in the DM's chair, you make the calls

at first i also had lareth lined up as champion, until my paladin fell out of grace with his god and went AWOL

now he's the champion, the player doesn't know it yet

i can imagine the looks on their faces when he walks in with the four half-elemental templates on him... a blackguard in all his glory... they also had their hands full with the salamander blackguard, so they'll recognize the aura for what it is...

really, not all is lost here... you're in control, remember that!

msherman
A song from the sixties
(5/14/03 2:40 am)
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Re: I talk too much
Quote:
One of the better ways to do this is to have Lareth encounter the party again, muttering about seeking "Him" and make it sound like he's looking for the champion.
Yeah, that was my original idea #2, but I don't really know how to get them and Lareth to meet up again. Last time they met Lareth, he made it very clear that he hated the ToAC, and everyone there, and wished they'd just leave him alone already. Having Lareth go to the ToAC and meet the party there wouldn't really be sensible. So the party would have to go back to Nulb, which I'm not sure I see them doing.

Well, I'll play it by ear for a while, and see how they react to Mereclar's letter, which I suspect they'll be getting next session. They've currently got two temple guards prisoner, who surrendered and said they'd lead the party safely to the gate as long as the party promised not to turn them in to the temple, because "Mereclar will surely feed us to the howler!"

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