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Exasperated Rants

Uncommon Sense - or "Welcome to paragon tier, sucker"

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
A while ago, I had the brilliant idea to try and make my players think a little bit more about things they do before they do them. I had hoped to expand the game into new areas, where there was more than just a series of dice rolls to progress the story. My master plan involved throwing dangerous things at them. If they do something stupid, they face the consequences. Consequences often cause serious problems, such as heavy damage, lasting negative effects, or if everything works as planned, death.

Yesterday the players went deeper into a kobold lair. In the last session, they had captured a kobold trap master, who had designed many of the trap the party faced. The party Ranger was rightfully concerned about the little guy leading them right into a trap, and kept insisting the kobold lead the way. However, this presented a problem later, because when the kobold was the first to reach the top of a ladder, there was nobody in a position to prevent him from knocking the ladder down, and activating a trap. I hope that in the future, the party will consider tying (or chaining) their captive to someone, or at least keeping them between party members so he can't slip away and activate when everyone behind him is vulnerable to something he already past.

This left a sore spot on the players. Their pride wounded both in and out of game. They continued on to a door that looked something like this...

The door was locked, but it was easy to pick. By the time the party opened the door, they knew the following:
  • The rug under the door looks suspiciously like a bullseye.
  • Although the doors appear to be a set of double doors, they are actually designed as trick doors, and swing open as one from the handle in the middle. Although you could push it from any point.
  • There was a mark on the handles which resembled the mark of Jeerengus the Insane, a mad kobold inventor they encountered.
  • The party has in their possession a book which details all of the inventions of Jeerengus the Insane, but opted not to spend a few minutes looking through it for information on this door.
  • Every member of the party is familiar with Loony Toons, and what happens when you stand on the center of a bullseye.

After the Ranger backs off to a safe distance, the Artificer opened the door while standing directly on the center of the bullseye. He did not stand to the side and push, he did not instruct the Ranger to use his 10 Foot Pole to push the door open, he stood in the center of the bullseye, and set off the trap. He then had the nerve to complain about being hit by the trap for several minutes. Then the ranger stole the anvil because it had "ACME" printed on the side.

Can you believe people ask me what makes me lose faith in humanity?

Let me back up a little ways. For some time, the party has been on a quest to carry the Eye of Vecna to a place where they can have it destroyed. The party Artificer has been holding this cursed artifact the whole time, and it has been making regular attacks against his will. Artificer has done horribly, and failed 4/5 of his saves. I wait until they get in deep into a difficult encounter, and have the eye take more attacks against him, eventually achieving total domination. He tries to put the eye in...

This is about the point where all hell broke loose. For example, the Ranger went so far as to chop off the Artificers hand to try and stop him from putting in the Eye. The chaos that ensued as the party began to ignore their enemy and focus almost entirely on their possessed Artificer was something to behold, and my improvising skills as a DM got put to the test.

In the end, I think everyone enjoyed the complete chaos which resulted. Everyone found themselves transported to a corner of the Astral Sea called Pandemonium, and found themselves in a small cavern where the only exit was a portal, which deactivated shortly after the party regained their senses. Artificer was nowhere to be found.

Items of interest included:
  • A large metal slab with arcane runes inscribed onto it, which the party discovered was a summoning circle, which presumably is what brought them here.
  • A magic orb in the center of this circle, which the party discovered has a link to the Eye of Vecna, and this is what activated the summoning circle.
  • A deactivated portal arch.

After some fiddles with the orb, the party activates it in a way so they can now scry on the Eye's location. They see their Artificer talking to someone they never expected to see again. The Artificer was speaking to a Necromancer who had played the part of the leader of a cult that worships the undead called the Boneseekers. The reaction of the characters who recognized him as a former nemesis they had slain was quite good. The Necromancer mentioned in passing that he was interested in Artificer's companions - they were the ones to kill him. He then brags that it turned out all right, because he had struck a deal, and is presently a servant of someone with the power to rule all. His new title was "Voice of Vecna". This got many more reactions from the observing party.

As the exchange between Artificer and Necromancer continued, the Necromancer instructed him that he was to slay his former allies as his first task. However, he must spare one, which will be sent back to the mortal world to spread the word of the second coming of Vecna. I'm afraid I can't go into many more plot details, because that is all the PCs know, and I do not know if they are aware of this blog or not!

Session ends with the party pretty much peeing themselves. This was their first exposure to anything bigger than their town. I can't speak for them, but suddenly finding out that the fate of the world (and perhaps all of the planes) may depend on you killing your former party member might have overwhelmed them a little.

Everyone is taking this rather well, which leaves me presently surprised. The Ranger was selected as the person to be spared, mostly for out of character reasons as the player was very attached to his character. Everyone else is eagerly discussing what kind of character they will make if they get killed as a result. I've never seen them so excited.

The irony is that my intent of this campaign was to pull out all the stops and be a bit of a bastard to make the party suffer. The result, is we all seemed to have more fun than ever.

Updated 05-21-2010 at 02:38 AM by Teksura

Stupids , Evil Plots , My Game


  1. Teksura's Avatar
    Someone pointed out to me that Vecna, being all about secrets, would never give a direct instruction to his followers to spread the word about anything. I thought I'd add my reasoning here as well.

    Vecna is crafty and tricky, and never actually revealed his true plan to the party. While the party believed that Vecna intended to return to the natural world to rule over it, Vecna only wanted them to think this. The whole "go spread the word" thing was supposed to be an obscure clue that something was up, but I don't recall if anyone figured it out or not. The one who survived (Party Ranger, Ignatian), was instead secretly marked by the cultists. Any soul whose life was ended by him would be sent straight to Vecna. What would he do with them? That would be telling. But you can be sure it would be something that would be bad all around.

    The goal in saying that was to rile up the survivor. At best, they would go on a crusade to strike down as many Vecna cultists as they can find after getting back. Assuming they are hindering the god's plans, but in actuality, they are playing right into his hands.