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Belgarath123
Ebon Hand Cultist
(2/20/04 2:31 am)
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What to do with Jaroo?
Last time we played, i had some serious fun with the Doppelganger!
After they dispatched of most of the cult members in the Mill, and were resting at the Welcome Wench, i first had Elmo approach them to tell them he suspected Jaroo's assistant Yundi of also belonging to the cult (because of Jaroo's lies to him), and then, right after that i had a frightened Yundi approach them, to ask for help investigating why his master was behaving not like himself! They questioned Yundi quite severely, but found he was just what he seemed to be (it also helped he did not show up as evil on Xaod's radar). So they then decided to investigate Jaroo!

My players had Xaod detect evil on him, but even though he detected as evil (I know doppelgangers are mostly neutral according to the MM, but this one serves an evil cult, so it seemed fitting), the party wanted to gather evidence against him first! (I was pretty proud of them for that, in the old days they (or i should say we) would have just kicked in his door, and accused him, probably leading to a fight! Hehe, those were the days!:D ). So they started to sneakily follow him around! I let him wander into the forest the next morning to gather herbs and stuff (he had to maintain his cover of being a druid after all) and they followed him with no problems (he made a point to be seen by the townspeople to make sure his ruse would work). Now before i had Elmo tell them about how he envied the druid's ability to move through the forest as if he was one with it. So when i described Jaroo as tripping over roots, and banging his head against a tree, and gathering a random collection of herbs and leaves, i figured they would know he was faking it!
But then one of the things i really like about DM-ing happened, they came up with a totally unexpected (by me at least), but very plausible explanation!
They remembered how the wisdom drain from the symbol at the bottom of the obelisk in the Moathouse caused one of them to lose his common sense, and wander about randomly (role-played very well, the other PC's had to stop him from jumping into the corrupted pool for a swim!). They reasoned that Jaroo must have been affected by something similar, probably at the hands of the cultists... I of course encouraged this line of thinking, getting them over the hitch of Xaod detecting him as evil by having him say it might have been caused by Jaroo losing his sense of good and evil, so he was unable to make the distinction between them!8)
They reasoned he would have lost (or forgotten how to use) his druidic abilities, explaining his strange behavior (and the sudden inability Yundi mentioned to teach him more about the ways of nature).
They came up with a pretty drastic plan to test if he still had his abilities: One of them would injure himself, and approach the druid, asking for healing, which he surely would not refuse them if he was able to provide it!
The player who suggested this was the one who (somewhat reluctantly) cut his arm pretty bad with a dagger (he would tell Jaroo the wound was inflicted by a hostile creature), and went to see Jaroo! The Doppelganger could not refuse him help without blowing his cover, and tried to send him to one of the temples, but the PC insisted he was the closest, and asked for healing! Now even though the plan was pretty decent, i just had to screw with them a bit at this point (i'm evil like that sometimes:evil ) so i let Jaroo produce a healing potion, and give it to the injured PC! Since he could not refuse it with a convincing reason, he had no choice but to accept it, thank Jaroo and leave!
Of course they did not give up so easily, and since they had formed good relations with the church of St Cuthbert (one of them is a fighter-cleric of St Cuthbert), they decided to call upon Canoness Y'dey for help, figuring she would be able to see what was wrong with him, and probably even heal him... They convinced her to go to the grove with them, and talk to Jaroo! When they arrived and knocked on the door, i had Jaroo use his detect thoughts ability to see who was there, and when he found out it was the party accompanied by Y'dey, he knew the jig was up! So i had him call out he'd be there in a minute, and then take off through the back window!
I let him change shape into an eagle and fly off! (i know they can only take humanoid forms, but i did not want him to ruin their illusion he was the real druid, so i had to bend the rules a little, not a big stretch from a winged humanoid to an eagle:) )
The party saw him go, bashed in the door, and found the hut empty! They are still unsure what exactly is wrong with him, and have asked the townspeople to keep an eye out for him, since he is not himself!

Now i am wondering how to make some more use of him... He could try and replace someone else they trust in Homlett, or try to arrange an ambush for them, maybe on the way to Rastor... Only problem is that they killed almost all the cultists in town, except for Maridosen and Torrigan (who was not in the mill when they raided it). I was thinking of letting him hire Nierethi, whose illusions could really help in an eventual ambush...

Do you guys have any suggestions of how to make the best use of the elusive Doppelganger? Maybe some examples of what you have done with him? I had to much fun with him to just let it end with him flying off into the sunset! :)

Lunus Quelnegarde
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/20/04 1:07 pm)
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Re: What to do with Jaroo?
The doppelganger probably realizes his "Jaroo Scheme" is up. The thing about doppel's is that they can always start the game anew with a fresh face.

Perhaps the doppelganger would report back to his superiors and ask for a new direction.

Dunrat would probably want the doppelganger to once again secure a grip on the town, and send him back to take someone else's spot.

The DG could pose as a random commoner for a while, waiting for a more recognizable member of Hommlet to mess up and wander off alone. Perhaps then the DG would set an ambush and attempt to replace that person.

Alternatively the DG could hold a bit more of a grudge against the clever adventurers. Maybe he could pose as another druid and ask Yundi (through a letter) to go with him for more apprenticeship.

Once Yundi is gone the DG could either ambush him, or just simply return as Yundi with some excuse. Then he would have closer ties to the party.

Although he is supposed to be an observer, the DG might try to use his position to strike back at the heroes.

...If the DG wanted to play it more smart, he could write a letter to Yundi as Jaroo, pleading for help. That might be enough to get the heroes to go to some random location and take them out of the picture for a few days.

That is - if Dunrat needed the PC's gone for some reason.

...Also, the DG could just lie low for now and gather some info. Perhaps the PC's see an eagle soaring high above them from time to time...

-Had to cut this brainstorm off short, but hope it will get the ball rolling for ya.

deafdungeonmasterRIT
Deathmantle Cultist
(2/20/04 1:35 pm)
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hmm
Damn...

I wish you type this out earlier.. I would have given a great advice..

Doppelganger CAN turn into animals! He just cannot use spells!

Caedrel
Crimson Coil Cultist
(2/22/04 6:05 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: What to do with Jaroo?
Um, no doppelgangers can't turn into eagles - from the SRD:
Quote:
Change Shape (Su): A doppelganger can assume the shape of any Small or Medium humanoid.

Furthermore, a winged humanoid would be a "monstrous humanoid" and not something that a doppelganger could change into either.

I'd also like to point out that changing its alignment to Evil makes it a lot easier to detect when it is impersonating, given how easily cast alignment detection spells are (as you pointed out, Xaod can find out any time at all). Sure, it's a reasonable enough thing to do if the doppelganger is really into everything Tharizdun, but maybe it's just an employee - paid to be a "deep cover" spy and provide succour and information to the cult without really being into the whole destruction-of-the-world thing. It would make its choice of Jaroo an even better one - both being Neutral, there would be no discrepancies with any alignment detection spells.

OK, having said that, you can get out of jail here by saying that the eagle was a real one kept chained for just such a diversion: the real doppelganger has snuck around the front of the building and quickly vanished into the town with someone else's form. Or that it was an illusion generated by a special glyph created by Dunrat, or any other plausible explanation, really. Or, as Monte says, you could let your players come up with an explanation for you :)

The doppelganger doesn't have to replace someone altogether to make trouble for the PCs. Some ideas:
* impersonate a different people and hang out in the taverns, spreading vicious gossip and rumours about the PCs
* impersonate someone else briefly to give the PCs bad info eg. Canoness Y'Dey "You really must investigate Nulb as soon as possible"
* impersonate one of the PCs and commit dastardly deeds eg. attacking one of Burne's Badgers, beating up and stealing from merchants, starting a night time campaign of sexual attacks on women in town.

With access to spells like zone of truth and divination, though, it will become obvious sooner or later that a shape changer is loose in town. While this would force the doppelganger to be more circumspect, it would also make everyone in town more paranoid, which could make things more difficult for them.

Edit: fixed grammar, formatting

Edited by: Caedrel at: 2/22/04 6:08 pm
deafdungeonmasterRIT
Deathmantle Cultist
(2/22/04 7:04 pm)
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hmm
good point.. but I swear that I saw someone use doppelgang to change into dire animals.

Caedrel
Crimson Coil Cultist
(2/23/04 5:20 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: hmm
Are you sure it was an "ordinary" doppelganger and not one infected with lycanthropy or something funky like that? :)

deafdungeonmasterRIT
Deathmantle Cultist
(2/23/04 7:17 pm)
Reply
haha
On this forum, ordinary doppelganger can changes to medium size animal. I think it is possible.

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