View Full Version : What would OOTS do?

2007-03-04, 02:23 AM
Lose-Lose Scenario?

I would like to present to y'all a scenario that occured in a long-running campaign of mine that just ended. This happened a long time ago in the game, but I feel that I can post this now and answer any questions without spoiling anything anything, now that the campaign is over.

The party was level 8-9 when they encountered this scenario, and I would like for you to look at this scenario not from the perspective of the characters that actually were involved, but from the perspective of 'how would my gaming group deal with this plot', and 'how would the OOTS deal with this plot'?.

My party opted to leave without dealing with this.

First, some background:

The party is on board a flying galleon, and are exploring the world of Cytir. They are from the country of Fairhaven, and before the events of this campaign, the people of Fairhaven were not aware of the existence of other continents. This all changed when a group of foreigners arrived on a strange flying ship (which they had crashed into the side of a mountain). Over the course of the first chapter, this group of foreigners had concocted a scheme to take over Fairhaven, and while they were defeated, and their ship was captured, they had opened a rift to the Abyss, and an army of hell was marching across Fairhaven. And so, at the beginning of this plot arc, the party is in search of allies, now that they know other civilizations exist.

At the point in which the party encounters this scenario, they had managed to find an island populated by celestial ape-people, helped them win their war with the fiendish ogres, and had gained the use of their island to move civilians off of Fairhaven, and transported 'troops' to Fairhaven to assist in the war-effort. With the help of these Si-Karran, they had managed to set-up a second front. However, while the Si-Karran were powerful
(racial package is CR 5, not including class levels), they were not large in number, and so the party continued exploring the world, taking with them an ambassador from the country of the ape people.

As a side note, this is the source of training for the Oversized Weapon Master PrC, which some of you may remember me posting here.

The next continent that the came across was Devania, and here is the scenario:

The party comes into the continent from the south, and find a series of abandoned towns, and find nothing but the occasional claw mark. They follow this series of abandoned towns until the see a keep in the distance. Upon heading toward the keep, they see a pack of werewolves assaulting a lone figure standing in the shadow of the castle wall. This figure fought off the werewolves, and then flew up to the ship, and, after cycling through a variety of languages (common was different in every continent in the world), finally engages them in halfling, which most of the party knows (halfings were the dominant race of Fairhaven). The dark figure introduces himself as Mirado, Duke of Devania and loyal subject of Meletus, High King and lord of Devania.

The party notices a few things about Mirado-
-He always keeps to the shadows (although he does not recoil when exposed to the sunlight)
-The weapons he was using against the werewolves had disapeared by the time he was within 'conversational distance' of the ship.
-Mirado's clothes are all the same shade of blood-red
-this takes some explaining. One of the primary spellcasters of my campaign world caused their color affinity to 'bleed' out into their equipment, and thus this coloration strongly implied that Mirado was a mage. His build was in fact very similar to one of the PC's, he was meant to be a mirror to his character.
-Mirado cast no reflection (this was determined by a HELL of a spot check on the part of the party's elven archer.

This combined with his goth look made the party think he was a vampire, in spite of the fact that he was active during the day and in the sunlight. Of course it turns out he was a vampire, and taking full advantage of the Endure Sunlight feat as a charisma-based spellcaster (his charisma was in the high 30's). For a quick description of Mirado, take the best parts of Sephiroth, and the best parts of Vincent, and mix them together.

They proceeded to join Mirado for dinner that evening. They spent the time in between exploring the keep, which was heavily overpopulated. They were not easily able to communicate with the locals, for they were not well versed in language. The party also took note that there were only humans in the keep, and yet Mirado was fluent in halfling, dwarven, and elven (although an odd dialect).

At dinner they discussed the situation they were in, why they were there, and learned of the state of the kingdom of Devania. Mirado was in charge
of the southwestern portion of the continent, which was seperated from the rest by a mountain range. Ten years ago, werewolves began attacking his people, and they retreated to the keep, where Mirado could defend them. The only way through the mountains was a forest path that the werewolves were controlling, and so Mirado has been out of touch with the rest of the kingdom for ten years. Mirado offered to write a letter of introduction for the party, if they would agree to deliver it and a small chest containing his tribute to the king, and if they would explain the situation to the king as well. I enjoyed this device (kind of a twist on 'kill the bearers of this message', the note explained the situation to the king, along with a list of everything that was in the chest. It gave instructions to kill the party if anything was missing from the box, and if the box was untouched, to offer the contents of the box to the party as a reward for dealing with the werewolf problem).

The party agreed to this request, and took the letter and the box to the King's castle (the party dodged a bullet here, as the player of the party thief was absent this session). They discovered that the King had been killed ten years ago, and his niece Carmilla had taken the throne. They were aware of the werewolf problem, and their army was currently deployed defending the towns (but they did not have the manpower to launch an expidition into the forest yet). Carmilla offered the party some magic items to take care of the werewolves, but invited them to attend the ball the next day before they started. At the ball, the elven archer spotted someone who looked out of place, and the party discreetly followed him out of the castle, and questioned him.

It turns out that this man, Rentil Greenleaf, was the loyal servant of the departed King Meletus, who was controlling the werewolves that were attacking the towns on both sides of the mountain. Meletus, who in life had been hiding the fact he was a werewolf, had been assassinated by Carmilla, and a necromancer had re-animated him in an attempt to gain political favor. The spell slowly drove Meletus mad, and he ordered his servants to attack Mirado and Carmilla, whom he beleived had conspired to end his life. His servants were honor-bound to obey his orders, and continue to do so, in spite of being convinced of his madness. After discussing this at length, they departed to their ship to discuss the matter further:

How would the Order of the Stick dealt with this? I thought that would be amusing. Also, how would you deal with with this plot?

Place your character (or the OOTS) in this position, and tell me what your next step, or series of steps would be, and I will respond with the results.

2007-03-04, 10:43 AM
:durkon: "Tha werewolves must be in league wit' tha forest. We should smite tha trees!"

2007-03-04, 12:01 PM
Any idea how important the forest is to the kingdom? If it isn't that important I say burn down the forest

2007-03-04, 12:10 PM
I can see why they left. Their duty was to their own continent, and here was a place in an equal mess but in which good and evil are difficult to parse. Let's see:
1) a vampire who's also an able leader and defender of his human citizens, but who may (or may not) have played a part in assassination plot against the king.
2) a horde of werewolves threatening two human settlements, but which are attacking out of loyalty to an assassinated king.
3) a queen who may (or may not) have assassinated her predecessor.

This is a mess, and I can't think of an easy way to resolve the problems in such a way as to free up manpower to come help out in Fairhaven. Unless, maybe they used Greenleaf to get in contact with the reanimated Meletus, then endeavored to cure the crazy king and then persuade him that, with all Devania up in arms against the Werewolves, the only sane course of action would be for the werewolves to leave en masse and make common cause with the people of Fairhaven. Upon victory, forests would be set aside for the werewolves to live their wolfish lives. And the former king could be given a fresh start in a place far from the corrupt politics of his homeland. A veritable Forest of Arden in which to rule his furry fellows in a new golden age. (I put my points in Diplomacy.)

2007-03-04, 12:46 PM
I'd have tried tracking Meletus and his werewolves down, then initially try to convince him to spare the villagers (but he's mad, so that'd probably not work). Next I locate one of his lieutenants (preferably one with a sense of honor) and try the same speech again, possibly arguing that Meletus has already existed beyond his proper time and has clearly been driven to madness and suffering by the reanimation. Another potential option would be tracking down the necromancer who brought him back and seeing if he doesn't posess the means to cure his madness. Mercifully my GM would have allowed this to be roleplayed, because while my wizard didn't have a ton of diplomacy the party face had a player who couldn't roleplay his way out of a broom closet.

With a lot of luck (and a little smart roleplay) I'd hope to gather enough werewolves that we convince of the need to end Meletus' suffering. If possible I'd try to broker a deal for clemency in exchange for ending Meletus.

While the above poster mentions some key problems, I'd have taken this approach beacause a) at level 8-9, we may not be able to take on the werewolves on our own, b) Getting rid of Meletus would end his suffering, c) The werewolves would make powerful allies in our war, and getting them to stop their raids ensures that we have more of them and also more humans from the rest of the kingdom to help out, and d) the issue of whether or not Meletus was assassinated is distinctly "not our problem" and in our current situation takes a back seat to the DEMON ARMY marching across our homeland.

There's an outside chance that settling the feud may be best settled by ritual combat (especially if the GM has a flair for the dramatic).

Also, finding a cleric of sufficient level to cast Heal may help solve some of the problem (though there's no indication of one being in the kingdom) by at least making Meletus less crazy.

Really the path of least resistance would seem to be finding a way to neutralize Meletus, since crazy = unable to be reasoned with. Certainly not en easy path, but none of the options here are.

As for OOTS: Roy would try to convince Meletus to stop harassing villagers, and if Durkon couldn't help him they'd try to get Meletus and Carmilla to talk to each-other. It would end in a bloody fight to the death with lots of melodrama. Belkar would take bets, and V would break them up before everyone died and explain how this is all lunacy and could we please just apologize and make up so that we can get back to thwarting the demon army.

2007-03-05, 05:41 AM
:vaarsuvius: would rob the castle kitchen for Doilies of ultimate cosmic power
:haley: would choose the course which would be most profittable while still giving a chance of peace and help against the demon army
:roy: would whine about stupid NPCs and annoying subplots
:belkar: would stab Carmilla, and wonder why she doesn't die from it
:durkon: would smite the forest
:elan: would try to make friends with the werewolves

2007-03-05, 11:13 AM
And Elan at least would succeed