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msherman
Kalkydrite
(11/4/03 6:05 am)
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Need plot idea for alternative party
I've kind of written myself into a corner with a plot thread, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to help me unravel it.

The party IMC is 10th level, and have destroyed the Earth and Fire temples, as well as the NBC and Main Gate. They've hired the Orc tribe near Rastor to hold the Main Gate for them. They just spent 2 months in Verbobonc, and on their return, discovered that another party of adventurers has been attacking the CRM, and has routed the Air Temple. This other party includes two familiar faces; Aramil, a Rgr/Sor ex-cohort of one of the party members (he dropped the Leadership feat when we converted to 3.5, so Aramil took his leave), and Mereclar, whom I played as a mercenary who helped out the party (and killed Tal Chammish) after they spared his life when they took the main gate.

When the party returned to Rastor, they heard about Aramil and Mereclar having used the town as a base of operations while attacking the mines, and how they were bragging about success against the air temple and throwing around a lot of cash, but now they haven't been heard from in 3 weeks.

So now I need to figure out what actually happened to these guys. One idea I had was that the orcs in the mines joined up with the orcs from Rastor, and they're now holding both gates, and they've captured this party and sold them to the gargoyles for entertainment purposes. Would any of them still be alive 3 weeks later? Another possibility is that they've been captured by the still-active Water temple (who now holds the NBC, which they've flooded to prevent access to the Air bridge, and is guarded by a Fiendish Giant Squid). Or perhaps they're being held in the Outer Fane? Any good ideas out there?

The party has expressed a concern that they're now undead... apparently, ever since I had Chatrilon rise as a Ghast in the moathouse, they've decided that that's what I "do to all missing NPCs". So vampire spawn in the OF is out. Or is it? :evil

Edited by: msherman at: 11/4/03 6:07 am
Siobharek 
Cherub
(11/4/03 7:11 am)
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ezSupporter

Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
I don't see the Rastor orcs as being particularly interested in taking over part of the mines. That would make them more "traditional" orcs than the dwarf-tolerant, slightly backwards hunter-traders they are at present.

Has your group talked to Tymerian? If not, have the other group fly over the crater and be shot down like Tymerian was in the module.

Not to toot my own horn, but in the BoB, there's a post where I replaced the orcs in the CRM with a dwarf lich who turns captives into shockers. Maybe he's doing that to the captured NPCs.

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

Trithereon
Cherub
(11/4/03 7:16 am)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
These questions may spawn some ideas?

What are Amaril's motivation for attacking the Temple? Pure greed? Curiosity? Altruism?

How much of the CRM did he explore as a cohort? How much does he know about the CRM (elemental keys, layout, personale)?

After his success with the Air Temple which direction did he explore?

Would he ally with the CRM orcs? The Water Temple against Fire Temple?

Most important of all. How much of them is known by the CRM?

They could be prisoners of D'gran, or Firre or awaiting a special fate at the hands of Hedrack in the OF prison. This means they may have eliminated parts of the CRM (Destrachan, Hydra, etc ...) before getting captured.

They could be as wildly successful (and helpful), or disastrous as you like.

In case of the ultimate disaster, their remains may provide clues about possible "natural" hazards of the CRM. Or, their remains may be left as a warning. Victor and Bethe might leave the corpses in such a gruesome manner as to send a message to other infidels who might challenge the might of the Doomdreamers.

Personally, I think any of the above scenarios could work depending on the nature and preferrence of your players.

Edited by: Trithereon at: 11/4/03 7:19 am
Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/4/03 8:17 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Trithereon's got a good point. You could put their smashed up looted bodies under that big block of stone in the dwarven temple area. Have the secret door be open, the hydra killed, and now most of the dwarven area is filled with orcs.

arcane12
Memunite
(11/4/03 1:07 pm)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
I would have to agree with Siobharek about the Orcs - they seem to be 'not the usual fair' type orcs. The ones in the CRM are trapped, having escape servitude under the EEE, and the ones outside would be more likely to want to continue their comfortable existance as it is. Also the CRM orcs are quite afraid of the dwarven temple, and their fear has developed into 'ghost stories' that would curb all but he most adventerous of orcs, who would soon die to one trap or another. (even the emerald could be counted as a trap - I could see confused orcs continuing to fight even after the spell wears off :evil )

The one thing that belies this idea is that the restocking portion mentions that orcs from the nearby orc camp might be recuited (forced into servitude) once reinforcements have been used once or twice. Also it mentions that as whole areas a cleared out other areas will move in (eg. fire temple wiped out, water temple moves in, and reinforcements for the fire temple becoming water temple forces).

I like the idea of the other party meeting a grisly demise somewhere like the dwarven complex, I would have to doors automatically close after 1 min (clockwork mechanism, what will those wily dwarves think of next?) because otherwise would not 1/2 the doors be already open?

msherman
Kalkydrite
(11/5/03 3:31 am)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Well, the Orcs moving into the mines to guard the main gate for the party has already happened 2 months ago in game time, so I can't rewrite that history. I had them agree to take the job because, among other reasons, they were eager to discover the fate of the members of their tribe who accepted work with the temple many harvests ago, only to be held prisoner against their will (the orcs in map D). Now that those orcs have been freed from the mines by the destruction of the Air Temple, they've joined forces with the group from Rastor, and are inclined to stay because at least part of the group has grown used to the place (and likes their new position of power over the gates).

My motivations for that were really pragmatic; I needed a way to get the party to safely take the time needed to travel to Verbobonc to buy and make magic items before hitting the OF.

I like the idea of killing them in the dwarven complex, but I think I'll have the traps all reset. The bodies could be under the falling block trap, but the orcs only saw them head that way, and warn the party off because it's dangerous and haunted. I'd like the party to be able to discover the dwarven temple, because I've decided to use the Golem+Tulians Eye = Magic Item Making Machine idea to alleviate the time pressure of future Verbobonc trips on the party. Of course, that implies that I've got to give them treasure on the bodies.... any further ideas?

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/5/03 8:45 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
"I've decided to use the Golem+Tulians Eye = Magic Item Making Machine idea to alleviate the time pressure of future Verbobonc trips on the party"

Btw, did you catch my take on that in another thread? If you allow the players access to an Astral Lab, it takes care of the problem. They can teleport to Verbobonc and then purchase "time" in an Astral lab. This takes no game time at all.

msherman
Kalkydrite
(11/5/03 9:02 am)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Teleport... yeah, that'd be nice if they had a Wizard above 2nd level in the party... even with Wind Walk arriving next time the Cleric levels, it's still a drag getting to Verbobonc.

smetzger
Memunite
(11/5/03 12:14 pm)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Take a look at the Lantern Archon on the Summon Monster IV list. It has a teleport ability. I relaxed the 3.5 restriction and allow it to transport people in bags of holding. Even if you don't relax this ability, it would seem that all good aligned churches would use summoned Lantern Archons to send notes and treasure between temples.

setanta14
Memunite
(11/6/03 2:37 pm)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
You could have Prince Thrommel show up and turn Aramil and Mereclar's party into vampires (or spawn).

Siobharek 
Cherub
(11/6/03 11:43 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
As per the first post in this thread, that has been ruled out unless a good plot reason is given.

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

msherman
Kalkydrite
(11/7/03 6:56 am)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Another thing about Thrommel is that, IMC, I've decided he can't cross the Stalagos due to the running water provision; it was the only way I could really justify him sticking around.

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/7/03 7:24 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
It's not running water, though. The name itself translates into stagnant. :x

msherman
Kalkydrite
(11/7/03 7:53 am)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
Yeah, I know I'm reaching with that one. I guess the name is ironic IMC... :) I figure there's enough water motion in and out of the Stalagos via underground streams to qualify. It also explains how the Kuo-Toa got there, I guess.

I just couldn't otherwise figure out why he'd stay in the fanes. He clearly has no actual loyalty to Hedrack or the doomdreamers, and other than the ability to turn him to stave off a direct attack, Hedrack has no real measure of control. It should provide for a good RP opportunity, though, since now Thrommel has a very real and attainable goal to task the party with: get my corpse out of the fanes!

setanta14
Memunite
(11/7/03 1:24 pm)
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Re: Need plot idea for alternative party
I figured Thrommel had to stay in the vicinity of the CRM because his coffin is kept in the Outer Fane... therefore, if he acts up, Hedrack or the Doomdreamers/Triad would destroy the coffin and if he was forced into gaseous form, his body would have no place to reform.

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