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Ettina
2014-09-12, 12:13 PM
[Warning: spoilers for Murder at Baldur's Gate campaign]

OK, so I'm DMing Murder at Baldur's Gate, and I'd like some advice.

If you don't know the story, the god Bhaal, Lord of Murder, was murdered, and now he's trying to resurrect himself. He had a bunch of kids with mortals, and they've been killing each other off. At the start of the campaign, the last two Bhaalspawn (one of whom is a hero beloved by Baldur's Gate) get into a fight in the middle of a celebration in Baldur's Gate, and whichever one dies first, the survivor becomes a horrible monstrosity that is actually pretty easy to kill.

My characters finished him off, then got approached by three different NPC questgiver types trying to entice them into helping advance their goals - Rilsa Rael, a Robin Hood-type high up in a gang that is the de facto government for the poor section of town; Ulder Ravengard, who runs the police force for the middle-class part of town; and Duke Silvershield, one of the guys on the council for the nobility in Baldur's Gate. They split up to meet with both Rilsa and Silvershield, and have been playing both sides ever since.

Anyway, in the story, the three questgivers are working on competing goals, basically each wanting to advance their preferred class of townsfolk. However, with all his kids gone, Bhaal is poised to come back, and he's going to slowly infiltrate one of the questgivers until he can turn them into his avatar.

Now, my characters are currently on the wrong track. (They think Bhaal had one more kid, who is hidden somewhere in town and has been murdering people.) But one of them has a pretty good Sense Motive, so I'm thinking of having either Rilsa or Silvershield, or maybe both of them (they're pretty much tied now), start subtly changing in personality to tip the characters off.

My question is - what effect would Bhaal infiltrating their mind have on a person? What signs might that cause that an astute observer who's gotten to know them might spot? I'm thinking of doing rolls in secret and if the character makes her rolls, telling her she notices specific oddities in the character's behavior.

Mark Hall
2014-09-12, 12:21 PM
I would lean towards a casual ruthlessness. A willingness to use murder, pushing towards a preference towards murder as the possession (as it were) progresses. Out-of-persona cruelty.

Ettina
2014-09-13, 08:51 PM
I would lean towards a casual ruthlessness. A willingness to use murder, pushing towards a preference towards murder as the possession (as it were) progresses. Out-of-persona cruelty.

Can you give an example of how this might show up?

Mark Hall
2014-09-13, 09:08 PM
A character who had previously avoided bloodshed might not be worried about it, or might create plans where death is likely. Set a fire as a distraction, not really caring about the death it might cause.

Instead of simply interrogating people, they use torture... maybe nothing exotic, but they punch them, or threaten them. Things that have them personally taking part in the violence, or obviously enjoying it.

If the PCs don't know the NPC that well, show the change in the reaction of others... close confidants, long-time henchmen, etc.

Braininthejar2
2014-09-15, 10:08 AM
If they don't get more subtle hints - powers. Doesn't have to be black fire and spikes, but something less obvious - an attack spell as a spellike ability, commanding voice, or supernatural resilience that shows when attacked by third party.

Perhaps creatures with different sensitivity will feel the taint - something supernatural attacks the party and quickly turns tail when the NPC comes as reinforcements - even if his power should not be a big deal in that fight.