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View Full Version : DM Help A bit more help regarding Chauntea



Pinjata
2019-07-05, 06:23 AM
I am at a strange predicament.

Some of my players want to level up as Clerics of Chauntea. Meaning, itís about helping farmers do mundane stuff. I mean, any good aligned character would help a village, harassed by goblins or being a victim of recent fire. Chaunteans are supposed to eye the far more mundane predicaments.

Point is, Chauntea is very low-key. Nothing impressive.

How do I present my party with challenges, that are still challenges, but are peasantry-related and sort of low-key? Iím afraid my party will just pass these nonimpressive and not-high-risk challenges, then complain, Chauntea does not pay heed to their amazing deeds.

How do I approach this?

hymer
2019-07-05, 06:34 AM
How do I approach this?
When Tiamat attempts to enter and conquer the Realms, peasants will suffer as much as anyone. The champions of Chauntea is as likely to try to prevent it as most other goody two-shoe adventurer, although they are perhaps likely to see the first signs in a different place, and receive different support, than the Champions of the Lords of Waterdeep, the Harpers, or Cormyrean knights.

Pinjata
2019-07-05, 06:55 AM
When Tiamat attempts to enter and conquer the Realms, peasants will suffer as much as anyone. The champions of Chauntea is as likely to try to prevent it as most other goody two-shoe adventurer, although they are perhaps likely to see the first signs in a different place, and receive different support, than the Champions of the Lords of Waterdeep, the Harpers, or Cormyrean knights.
Solid comment. Good point.

Great Dragon
2019-07-05, 07:13 AM
@Pinjata: it depends on the level of the PCs.
Here are some (off the top of me head) monsters to use:

Various types of Swarms.
Rats, Spiders, fruit bats, centipedes.

Cranium Rats.
Moon Rats.

Stirges can look like bats in the dark, but are a real threat to all livestock.

Cockatrice are chickens combined with snakes, and if you go a little old school, their victims can remain statues Permanently.

Normal people fear Wolves - and Worgs are their big super-mean cousins that will taunt you as they give chase to eat you.

Pixies, Grig, and Sprites, when they aren't in the mood to Play, are a real problem. Even Blink Dogs can be a problem, when unhappy.

Displacer Beasts can be annoying.

Ankheg popping up everywhere, eating people.
Bullette tearing up fields and roads alike, and also eating everything that can't run away fast enough.


****
Start giving those "pesky" ambushing Goblins and lurking Kobolds some Class/Subclass Abilities (if not actually giving them levels in those) and use Tucker for a guide.


*****
As for rewards from the goddess herself?
I suppose that if the Players want to play the tRPG version of either Green Acres and/or Bonanza, they could get their own Farm+Ranch to defend against all these and more Invaders, each with their own "classic" goals: (numbers can vary, as needed)

Orcs, killing and plundering.

Hobgoblins, knocking people out and enslaving them.

Drow, stealing children in the night.
etc.

Crop thieves and livestock rustlers.

Cults dedicated to bringing Evil Beings into the world, from the above - to any Fiend or GoO.

If not having their own homestead:
Helping other farm/ranch races: Gnomes and Halflings.

Success means increased crop yields, and healthiest livestock.
***** *
Best I can do right now.
I'll add more here as I think of them

Kaptin Keen
2019-07-05, 08:31 AM
How do I approach this?

I've used a small farming community as the primary setting for my game for over a year. Everything from disappearing villagers to farming disputes to finding relatives who thought they could be adventurers. It helps that the small village has a portail to Sigil in their backyard, of course, but still. It's no less a farming community for that reason.

Pinjata
2019-07-05, 08:40 AM
Amazing input, guys. Love it.

Millstone85
2019-07-05, 09:10 AM
Chauntea used to be the goddess of all matter in Realmspace. She was Toril. She was also the seven other worlds orbiting its sun: Anadia, Coliar, Karpri, Chandos, Glyth, Garden and H'catha.

That was a looong time ago, and her power has clearly weakened since.

Still, an ancient cosmic MacGuffin might have to be handled by a cleric of Chauntea.

Inchhighguy
2019-07-05, 09:11 PM
How do I approach this?

Any attack vs Nature and the Natural World also includes farmland. Undead, and vile outsiders that attack, corrupt and destroy nature are good foes. Even Fey work here.

And you allways have the classsic man vs nature......when they pave paradice to make a parking lot. Lord of the Rings has plenty of this in it.

The Realms has plenty of evil deities that go vs nature: Auril, Malar, Talona, and Moander. Plus deities that would do things like bulid a dam to bring water to a town, but destroy farmland, like Gond or Wakkeen. Even ones like Helm that might divert a river to give water to a castle for a 'greater good'.

Of course, you also have the 'pure' nature deities that don't even like farming.

There are plenty of anti nature clasess that you can use, like the Blighter.

Honest Tiefling
2019-07-05, 09:50 PM
What edition is this? I ask because Chauntea has a VERY powerful ability in third edition, in that she can hear EVERYTHING happening around tilled land. Tilled land of course, being near anything containing population. A few nudges to the priesthood, and she can uncover a lot of plots, schemes and various ill-doings as long as it relies on food.

So the players could uncover a larger scheme to sabotage a goodly kingdom that involves the farmland. One such contender is Malar, who has a definite interest in creating famines to increase his own popularity. But that's a little too straightforward, isn't it? Perhaps another following of a different evil god or fiend is posing as Malarites to spread trouble. Helping the farmers is important to uncovering this scheme, which might be the result of a widespread cult. Helping farmers will mean they are grateful, and perhaps give information on people they think are their own.

Secondly, if the character starts off lower level, maybe the priest hood is interested in sending such promising young people to help other faiths. Chauntea gets along with many other gods, and I would imagine a part of such an alliance is occasionally lending your paladins out to other faiths in need of help. You said SOME of your players want to do this, this might be a good way to give the spotlight to those who aren't Chauntean for a bit.

False God
2019-07-05, 09:56 PM
A goddess of farming and harvest is arguably one of the most important gods in all of agrarian society. Even today we retain a number of festivities that are directly linkedin to farming and the harvest.

Low-key? Perhaps. But remember that the food those farmers grow doesn't just feed the peasantry. It feeds EVERYONE. If the crops don't grow, nobody eats. Not the rich, not the poor, not the kings nor the peasants.

The tasks don't need to be low-key or mundane. From roaming barbarians burning down farmland to wandering undead to "strange things" happening to the crops (sudden die-offs, gigantic fruit, vegetables rotting from the inside out). They may seem mundane initially, "farmer bob needs someone to investigate why all his crops are rotting away". But then multiple farmers start reporting the same, with no obvious exterior presence.

People who eat contaminated food are initially sickened, but recover quickly and then start acting odd. They have cravings for strange things, things not even considered food. And then folks start disappearing, often only to reappear a few days later like nothing happened, but in time start acting strange as well.

It's all a big "whatever" to the kingdom...until people start reporting the strange behavior within the Capital City. The King is considering a purge and it's up to the party to uncover what's going on before the city starts murdering everyone suspected of being "infected".

There. Strange things happen on farms=bad business for everyone.

Anymage
2019-07-06, 12:01 AM
How do I present my party with challenges, that are still challenges, but are peasantry-related and sort of low-key? Iím afraid my party will just pass these nonimpressive and not-high-risk challenges, then complain, Chauntea does not pay heed to their amazing deeds.

How do I approach this?

Since most of your players are new to the game and I assume that their characters are likewise lowbies, low-level adventures tend to have the local scope that focuses on just the local villagers. Fields are being raided, livestock are being slaughtered, farmers are being harassed. These are staple plot hooks to get low level characters out doing things, and having them be community-minded Chaunteans just makes it that much easier to get them started. You also have the advantage that, since most of your players are new, they're going to look at these plots with fresh eyes.

As they rise in levels, high level clerics are still high level characters, and should be applied as such. As mentioned above, farmers and farmland will tend to suffer any time something bad happens to the whole region. Lesser priests can bless the fields while your characters are off preventing an undead army from blighting the land.

Although more generally, it might help to avoid having disconnected adventures. You can get away with it, sure. (Especially if most of your players are noobs, so they'll go along just to get a better sense of the game.) Pick a general arc you want for the first five levels or so. It's trivial for the first adventure to be something local level, because that's what low level adventures are. Pick a theme that Chauntea would consider naughty (blight/disease, undead, evil invasive species, etc.), have the local problem be related to some bigger problem along that theme, and have each adventure include hints and leads for what you want to happen next. That way you get to build up your early boss, players have more reason to be invested, and the fact that it all works out in Chauntea's favor is a nice addition to it all.

Yanagi
2019-07-06, 01:33 AM
I am at a strange predicament.

Some of my players want to level up as Clerics of Chauntea. Meaning, itís about helping farmers do mundane stuff. I mean, any good aligned character would help a village, harassed by goblins or being a victim of recent fire. Chaunteans are supposed to eye the far more mundane predicaments.

Point is, Chauntea is very low-key. Nothing impressive.

How do I present my party with challenges, that are still challenges, but are peasantry-related and sort of low-key? Iím afraid my party will just pass these nonimpressive and not-high-risk challenges, then complain, Chauntea does not pay heed to their amazing deeds.

How do I approach this?

Other folks have brought up the antagonistic nature deities of Realmspace, and they're definitely worth looking up as hooks for large story arcs. There's also trade organizations that are overtopped by unscrupulous or outright Evil controllers that might get mixed into a rural setting's complications. Thieves guilds dabbling in loans, Zhents pushing peasants off their land before buying it up cheap (for inscrutable but nefarious purposes), an army or orc band engaged in chevauchee (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevauch%C3%A9e)turns up, government officials doing their best Sheriff of Nottingham imitation. The process of clearing land to make a new field might turn up a sinister tomb, or a dungeon, or tick off some fairies and druids.

if you're looking for a hook to differentiate the path from that of conventional murderhoboes...think of the Chauntea-connected player characters as folk heroes who stand up for the little guy. Not necessarily in direct opposition to legitimate authorities, but engaged with more Chaotic or Neutral Good ethos in which the people with the least need the most help. This means facing both towards "the other" threats like invaders or critters, but also threats internal to the power system of whatever nation they're in. Like in Robin Hood stories or wuxia novels, where the heroes are on the margin of the norms of law and formal hierarchy: not in full rebellion, but not necessarily in full accord with The Law either. As a consequence they may end up in conflict not just with threats from outside (bandits, critters), but also threats from above (jerks with money and armies, overzealous cops).

If you want the PCs to have a single location that is their rural base, they could be assigned to a village as...deacons or some such...or (if you're so inclined) some kind of divine revelation jabs thems to head towards a specific place and put down roots. If you want them to wander, perhaps the Chauntean church has some kind of rural templar group that's sent out to solve problems, or act as escorts from point A to B.

Maybe this is obvious, but a simple hook for a lot of plots is going to be...land itself. Any individual peasant might not have much, but to a (mundane, low- to mid- level) antagonist, acquiring a bunch of real estate through skullduggery or outright conquest is profit. Basically, imagine a fantasy version of the kind of things that drive Westerns--deeds, water rights, mining, range wars, the hell-ride of everything that happened in Blood Meridian--and you're headed in the right direction. And if you want a villain (or villains one after another) with less prosaic interests, seizing land might be about something secret and hidden (a lost temple with a powerful artifact, a hidden portal, a vein of some magical ore).

More generally, rural folk history...worldwide...is riddled with tales of greed, revenge, hate, rivalry, all stemming from the way that people with very little, that work very hard, savagely fight for and over land and water. Cross that kind of milieu into a fantasy allsorts world and there's lots to mine for supernatural threats. Ghosts cursing land that was stolen from them; Faustian bargains drawing devils to the realm just to keep a spring flowing; murders contracted with shadowy guilds so that a plot is split two ways rather than four; rash magical experiments to try and control the weather or stave off a famine; whatever spectacular necromantic eruption occurs as thousands of people starve, hateful and frightened, because a few middlemen (legally) carry away their subsistence.

The OK Corral...but with druids.

In all seriousness, Westerns (and its genre cousins...each borrowing from the others) could give you a lot of jumping off points for adventures centered on open spaces and small, rural habitations. I mean, just look at Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven, or Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars.

A pretty good way to wrap this all up would be to start with a low-level threat--bandits or basic critters--who's defeat launches a deeper plot--who sent them, why did they only try to steal some paperwork, whatever. This points towards a mid-level threat...a ruthless businessman who's also a thieves' guild master, a local lord who's a bully and a thief, a magic-user trying to use proxies to scare away villagers near his work site...who has underlings and possibly multiple plans that have to be foiled.

Yora
2019-07-06, 02:44 AM
Priests of Talos and his gang would make good antagonists. Auril, Talona, and Malar.

Generally anything that has supernatural forces cause environmental changes that affect the farmers. Storms, frost, draught, pests, blights, floods. Doesn't even have to destroy houses or directly kill people before farmers are getting very worried for the harvest and long term survivial. The evil powers don't even need to be targeting the farmers, the environmental changes can just as well be side effects of something targeted at someone else.