(10/27/03 11:38 am)
My players are just preparing to enter the CRM, and I'm having a hard time thinking up interesting intrigues...
I mean, other than the "I'm hiring you to attack the whatever-temple", what's there to do?
I'm looking for interesting stuff, like, stealing arcane scrolls for Eerendik, or convincing Vranthis to work with the Water temple... sth. like that?
(oh, and, btw., is there a summary about the CRM power structure and relations between NPCs and Temples? I once did a chart detailing this kind of stuff, but that was more than a year ago, and I don't find it anymore... )
Thanks for your help!!
(10/27/03 4:39 pm)
Check out another thread... "Boosting Role-Playing". I had a couple of ideas there.
I think that you can start off with Mereclar, if the PCs are willing to speak with him. He's weak, and he can really use the PCs to boost his position in the CRM. Once the PCs have his trust, he'll probably want them to knock out Terrenygit - who can trust a stinky trog?
If the PCs don't speak with Mereclar, have Vranthis approach them. Maybe while they're fighting Marlgran & Rusty (the Ettin & his pet), Vranthis hears them and goes to watch. Vranthis, with his dragon senses and high Listen score, probably knows something went down in the Main Gate. If he sees the PCs, he should be able to put two and two together. He could recruit the PCs to boost his power in the CRM, carving out a little empire for himself.
Perhaps Vranthis speaks with D'Gran, or one of his lackies (Heunar, perhaps), and works out some deal where he gets rid of the Umber Hulks - maybe in return for some troops to man the Main Gate, now in his hands. Now Vranthis + D'Gran can combine forces with the PCs to take over the Air Temple - and they will have taken both gates.
Since both of these fiends are quite smart, they're going to realize that the PCs are a powerful force. So once they've got their use out of the PCs, they are going to want to eliminate the party. D'Gran, the more intelligent one, probably will take the initiative. Polymorphed into a Kuo-Toa, he can bargain with them. "Kill Vranthis for us, and we'll reward you with the Main Gate or whatever else you wish." However, D'Gran plans to wipe out the PCs as well (foul treachery!), watching them tangle with Vranthis in Gaseous form, and hitting them when they are weak with a Cone of Cold. Sneaky bastard.
Of course, the other factions are going to wonder what's going on. Rui Lotas, of the Northern Bridge Complex, is going to present his case to the PCs (appearing as a large Goblin). Maybe he will warn the PCs about D'Gran and his possible treachery...
There are so many possibilities in the mines that you really have to get into it to see what's going to happen. Too many variables to spell out anything before it begins.
(10/27/03 11:34 pm)
Also the Best of the Boards sticky at the top has tons of great ideas and takes on different situations.
What I found helped is trying to make up a bit of a storyline for a lot of the more important CRM npcs (all the ones with names) Since there's already a little detail given on each one, it shouldn't be too bad to come up with some interesting scenarios.
Remember that a lot of the CRM folk are going to see the PCs as a valuable ally to use against rival factions. It's usually only til it's too late that they realize they can't control this loose cannon.
The trick of it all is encouraging your PCs to talk or try to gather some information before they mercilessly slaughter. Theres some ideas for that in the "boosting roleplaying" thread.
One trick I found worked for my party was this: When they killed everything, they tended to hit every single trap and not get much info on what to do next. Now they have learned to subdue the last few people for questioning... or to question first, kill later.
It would definitely be more useful, quicker and easier to help the temples destroy each other rather than putting a "us vs everything else" mentality on the thing. If you could encourage a few small talking encounters right off the top that suggest the temple is not a unanimous force that would be great to set the idea for your players.
Something like: At the main gate, have the gate closed and a parley take course. Have Mereclar be fairly stubborn and think the group is a bunch of mercenaries. He says in order to know he can trust them, he's going to give them their first assignment through the door. They are to steal one wagon load of the Air Temple's supplies, to be sure of what they are doing over there.
After-wards he could congratulate them, let them in and have them go find the reason his man didn't return from the south (basilisk)
After being paid some spoils by Mereclar he might set them up with some contacts in the Earth Temple. From there they will realize that the best way to take the Temple out... is from within.
(10/29/03 12:11 pm)
Here's what I used for the entire CRM run (which only comprised roughly half of the ring):
Vranthis was there to do something about Tharizdun (cf. his high Knowledge (religion) score), and the PCs could have had him for a... different patron.
There was a 3-way conflict in the Water Temple between the humans, the kuo-toa, and the elves. The elves were at the bottom of the food chain there, but stayed on because they believed that by helping the "crazy cultists" in what they saw as an enterprise doomed to fail, they were keeping humans away from the pass to Celene (Greyhawk specific)
The hiring of the PCs by the Water Temple against the Fire Temple, of course.
I also replaced the orcs with a dwarven lich (see the BoB). As he wasn't that interested in the doomdreamers' plans, the party might have come to an agreement there.
Choranth of the Air Temple's schemes against Falrinth. The trick here would be how to get in touch with the PCs.
The gladiatorial arena near the south entrance might be a Neutral Ground place where everybody meets everybody, but no weapons are drawn.
I'm sure there are more, but these are my ideas - with roughly half seeing play
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