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Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(9/15/03 4:42 am)
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Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
I made a bad judgment call with the demonstone and am now in a bit of a pickle.

The Monk 1/Cleric 8 (Fharlanghn) picked up the stone in my campaign. I determined through ahead of time save rolling that he failed his second will save. I did warn him that he was having unusually vivid bad dreams the night before in which he was gleefully inflicting pain on faceless humanoids.

So I took him aside and explained everything... that he could use his monk powers still but lost spell casting ability, blah blah blah... that he shouldn't turn this into an anti-party thing as he still has plenty of opportunity to inflict pain on captured prisoners, party enemies, etc.

He thought a second and asked, "So this is something I got a save against?"

I said, "Yes, but I rolled ahead of time for you."

He answered, "Then can I use my Luck domain power and re-roll my save!"

"Doh!"

So now I've filled him in about everything, he knows it is the demonstone causing it, and all the gory details. I asked him to firewall it for the rest of the session and not initiate any actions on his PC's part. The next night of sleep I did tell him again in front of all the players that he had the dreams again, but there was no reaction.

What should I do?

Siobharek 
Verrik
(9/15/03 4:55 am)
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ezSupporter

Re: Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
Let me just get this straight: You forgot his Luyck power and therefore spilled the beans and he didn't react to it and kept the stone?

If that's the case, it sounds a bit like meta-gaming to me. I'd basically let him keep it. Maybe he believes that he has the willpower and the grace of Olidammara to keep him sane. If he does, it's pretty heroic because it keeps the stone away from people with weaker wills. And eventually he'll miss two saves. Is he cool about you rolling the saves?

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

msherman
Giant
(9/15/03 5:32 am)
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Re: Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
Yeah, I agree; it sounds like the party got lucky (no pun intended) and the stone is in the hands of someone strong enough to master it. Until, of course, he isn't. As long as you can trust the player not to say anything about the nature of the stone until it actually takes effect, I'd say leave things be. Just make sure that he doesn't get to use his Luck domain for anything else on days that he fails his first save. Are you making him save at the beginning or end of the day? I'd recommend the end, so that he can't use his luck domain power at all, since he has to save it for that roll.

Of course, the stone does have an overpowering aura of Evil, so if anyone (including the Cleric) casts Detect Evil, the ruse is up.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(9/15/03 6:38 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
"If that's the case, it sounds a bit like meta-gaming to me."
Actually, it doesn't. The players knows about it, but is not doing anything because the character doesn't know what is causing it.

At this point, I'd just have the player roll his own saves and act accordingly. This might even be for the best if the player is good enough. He can RP the dreams, etc. all on his own without prompting for you. The only problem occurs if the player suddenly 'figures it out', but hopefully he will not do it, nor hopefully will he point it out to others.

Andorax
Verrik
(9/15/03 6:48 am)
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Re: Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
Absolutely let the player roll his own saves...off to the side if that's reasonably possible. And commend the player for keeping this OOC information locked up and playing it fair and square IC.

It sounds like he's doing just exactly what he ought to be doing.

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

Taxman66
Giant
(9/15/03 9:18 am)
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Re: Bad DM judgment call with demonstone
On the otherhand, its not unreasonable to presume the character is aware that resisting the effect is getting harder and harder (it's reasonably clear via clues what is likely to happen anyway even if the player wouldn't have known the full details) and letting him destroy it (if he intends to) either.

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

Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(9/15/03 4:08 pm)
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Focusing my concern
My biggest concern is whether it is fair if I continue to make/ask the player not to do anything about it due to my mistake of telling him, even though he is the main one being affected and experiencing the dreams.

In fact, after sending this I received an email from the player.

Quote:
I'm at a bit of a loss of what to do with this statue problem. Actually, it's kind of funny in way because I am feeling my character's pain through being tempted into the evil realm of meta-gaming ;) . For example, when people were suggesting going into town to identify and requip it was almost physically painful to not say anything when they decided not to go.

Anyway, I think that my character after a few nights of these really bizarre dreams would try to figure out what is going on. Honestly, the first time it happened I thought it might of been because I wasn't being really truthful with the paladins and the dreams were a kind of warning. At some point I probably would ask either Rerrid, Aranel, or my god what the problem is. What do you want to do for the next session? Could you be fairly verbose when describing my dreams and maybe hint at their seriousness?

Siobharek 
Verrik
(9/15/03 10:40 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Focusing my concern
Cordo, please convey my apologies to your players. He is certainly not meta-gaming! I think a really hard intelligence check - should you want a game mechanic to help him out - would be in order ("say... those dreams begun after I picked up that statue. Hmmmm....")

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

Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(9/16/03 2:00 am)
Reply
Re: Focusing my concern
No worries Siobharek, I didn't tell him you said that (nor have I told him about this thread to minimize any temptation to look here). A game mechanic is a good idea...

madfox
Verrik
(9/16/03 2:38 am)
Reply
Re: Focusing my concern
In a game I am currently running the PCs acquired a stone that gave the possessor bad dreams as well. The item had a beneficial effect as well as a curse (not quite as bad as the demonstone), but the curse did not became apparent through the identify spell - though it did show it was the cause of the bad dreams. The player never even considered the item might have been evil or cursed and he kept it around for a couple of days (and he knew that the place where he got it from was riddled with evil items). Luckily at that time they met somebody who knew the thing for what it was or else the group would have suffered. With this example I hope to illustrate that having bad dreams in itself does not have to automatically alarm the players. Even when the relation between the stone and the bad dreams is obvious, which might not be the case with the demonstone.

In any event, if you go for a game mechanic then a wisdom check might be more in order then an intelligence check. Personally though, I would simply allow the PC to discuss his bad dreams with his deity or other wiser members of the group as long as he does NOT directly relate the bad dreams to the stone.

Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(9/23/03 5:46 pm)
Reply
all's well that ends well...
Well my players dodged the proverbial bullet.

Callisto's will save is about +15 with Monk 1, Cleric 8, Wisdom 20 (+2 of that from a periapt), and a Cloak of Resistance +2.

So he started to complain a bit about his dreams and the players decided to ask Rerrid to perform a commune.

I decided to stretch a bit and give them a break, thinking, hey, it is the demonSTONE so maybe Moradin knows about this corrputed item.

Thus a couple of critical questions were answered "Are the dreams natural" (NO) and "Is Callisto a potential danger to those around him" (YES) that made them take it seriously.

The other players lit on to the fact that it could be an item. The non-identified suspect items Callisto was holding were Tessimon's lesser rod and the demonstone. They were a bit mystified when none detected evil (I decided the demonstone's powers extended that far a long time ago) but decided to go ahead and identify the item.

The demonstone identified as a luckstone (again part of it's powers), but I did have it whisper to Aranel as he was identifying it.

Aranel then decided to use his new bardic lore power as a newly minted 2nd level loremaster, and rolled a 30! So I told him there was a story of an item turning up in the south over a hundred years ago that led to a series of grisly murders.

This led them to destroy it.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(9/23/03 6:49 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: all's well that ends well...
"This led them to destroy it."

Woohoo! Sounds great! Congratulations! :)

Humor: As for the title of your post, saw this in a colorectal surgeon's office: all's well when your end's well...

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