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    Default Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Good day fellow playgrounders, so yeah, after having read about Dante's Commedia Divinia and the classical greek adaptation of hell I stared at FCII. My first thought was: wow, this looks a lot like... [fill in reference to either classical hell system]. But then again I was a bit disappointed about how the first levels of the 9 Hells were presented. So I started with my first homebrew, which is to be some sort of errata for the 9 hells. Please be gentle with critisism.

    Note: the numbers are a concept, they will be tweaked, should be tweaked, but my system mastery isn't good enough yet, so if you have ideass onhow to tweak the numbers, you're welcome to make a suggestion.
    Note 2: this is a long spoiler, and it is written in word, so the structure is not optimal. pls forgive me my laziness in not editing the complete make up. i fyou want to see it including the make up of the document, pls pm me and I'll send it.

    Without further ado:

    Introduction

    Hi I’m Socratov. I like the classics (have read about Odysseus and the like at the age of 8). Recently I got into DnD. While I browsed the classes I stumbled upon warlock, which led me to Hellfire warlock, which ultimately led me to Fiendish Codex 2. I loved the reference to Divina Commedia by Dante, but didn’t exactly happy with the description of the river Styx. One thing led to another in a discussion on the forums of Giant in the Playground and I got an idea to write my adaptation of the Nine hells. Having only started playing DnD recently I have no idea of balance, or to put it more precisely: the numbers. Please don’t take the numbers for absolute, but try to use your own adaptation for the numbers. If you really like my work, leave me a message at the Giant in the Playground forums, and post (or message) your own adaptations to this material. Please note that I used materials from the classical Greece myths, Wizards of the Coast’s supplement: Fiendish Codex II, and various other works.
    All I want to do is to make the description of the Nine Hells more along the lines of those classical works it was based upon (even by proxy).

    Have fun gaming, reading and using this material.

    Socratov

    So… What’s wrong then?

    Not that much, but in comparison with Hades’ realm, which had 5 rivers, each assigned to a specific task, in Fiendish Codex II (henceforth FCII) uses the Styx for just about any task necessary.
    In relation to this FCII uses the the river’s names for area’s but then doesn’t use the corresponding mythical connection in the description of said area. I will introduce the classical references by adapting layer by layer to classical ancient Greece and Dante’s Divina Commedia.

    I won’t rewrite the whole section, just supplement it, like some kind of errata.



    Layer 1: Avernus

    Introduction

    Avernus is all about fire, blood, and general nastyness. So here we want to create an environment to deal the first shock of the whole “Oh c*ck, I’m really in hell now!” kind of feeling. Avernus is also the home to violent people in Hell

    Literary references

    First we will start here with one meaning of the river Phlegethon. This river was a river with 2 shapes in Hades’ realm. 1 appearance was a river sticky with blood and gore(by Dante), and another was a river ablaze with never dying flames(classical Greece). This river’s purpose was to keep the prisoners at this level. The Greek myth states that this river flowed along the Styx as a result of the godess Styx dying to the flames of Phlegethon.

    Errata

    On this level of hell we will see two rivers, they will encircle either side of the layer. They will be separated by 2 heavily guarded gates leading to both the planar gate to the material plane, and on the other end the flight of stairs going down to the second level of Hell. Against all odds the rivers seems to flow upwards along the stairs. You seem to get notion that these rivers appear sentient.

    The river Phlegethon consists of small flames running along. The consistency of the river is a bit like lava, but then instead of molten rock, boiling blood, filth and bile. Anything getting caught up in it seems to burn horrid and unable to escape (DC 25 str check to escape, +1 DC for every round you’re stuck beyond the first, and each failed escape check will add +2 to the DC. Ropes, other people, branches provide a +2 bonus to the escapecheck each). You get 2 Hellfire damage every round you are stuck (fort half, DC25). This pool traps both corporeal and incorporeal beings. I t seems the river consumes endlessly and unrelentlessly. Without so much as a notion of what or who is stuck in the unholy mix of blood, bile, and hellfire. It seems the power of this river has faded a bit as it seems to get stronger going to the second level. The amounts of blood and bile that flow in the river seem to be consistent with the amount of bodies lying around after the many and extremely violent fights.

    The river Styx is a river themed with hate and violence. The river is black as night and the souls of murderers. The river is boiling by low temperatures releasing toxic gases into the near vicinity. These toxic fumes seem not only to attack the lungs, but the skin too. It even seems to attack the very soul. In a 30’ radius from any point of the river (except for the gates, which are magically warded against it’s effects) people will need to take a fort save first, pass the fortsave and you will gain a +2 on saves caused by the river styx. Fail the save and you will take 3d6 acid dmg per hour with stacking +1 bonus acid dmg per hour. You can only make this save once. It’s a test to see how your body handles the toxic fumes. Only after leveling and gaining a bonus (class wise or abilitywise) on your fortitude save will you be albe to take the save again. After the fort saves you will make willsaves against DC15 (+1 per 3’ nearing the river). succes means you act normally, failure will make you move 5' per round towards the river, this does not count against your movement per round. When people actually reach the river, touching the water will need you to take a save against DC 35. Failing the save will put a mind affecting rage on you unable to identify friend or foe, you will attack the person nearest to you. Pass the save however, you are safeguarded for 6 minutes. Immunity to mindaffect will not grant immunity against this effect, but will provide a bonus of +5 to the check. Any way of preventing the fumes to reach your lungs will provide a total bonus of +2 on the check. Agains this effect affects both corporeal and incorporeal beings. As you get close to the river Styx more fights seem to break out and the beings fighting more furious and less exhausted. The souls of these creatures seem to be tainted. As the mist draws near you feel nauseated and an influence trying to gain control. AS much as you want leave this place, you feel oddly attracted to the black oozing waters of the river.



    Layer 2: Dis

    Introduction

    The layer of Dis is where paranoya rules. Dispater is the ruler here and suspect treachery at every corner.

    Literary references

    Acoording to Dante the city of Dis was the place where heretics ended up. However, in the realm of DnD where so many gods are present, heresy would be too difficult to describe, So on this one I will be staying closer to the description of FCII. However, to environmentally support the paranoia, I will use the river Styx in a slightly different way than on Avernus. The fact that the river Styx will present a role on multiple layers is consistent with Classical Greek descriptions of the river Styx. It was clamied the Styx flowed through all of Tartaros, and with a godess representing the river, it is possible to attribute multiple attributes to her, and thus the river. At east it will stay within the scope of the main theme: hate.

    Errata

    The City looks grim and slightly misty. When you enter the city at the base of the stairs, you see the river flowing into the sewer system. But instead of the pure hate and violence you sensed on the previous layer, you feel slightly unsettled. You get the feeling your companions share this feeling. The longer you stay, the more this feeling grows.

    Basically you will need to make willsaves against DC25 (DC35 for actually touching the styx in the sewer). The bonus from the river Styx from Avernus will still apply here. If you haven’t already had one on Avernus, you will not get one here. Since the Styx was heated up on Avernus it released violent fumes. However, since the Styx isn’t heated up on this layer, you won’t get the fortitude save. The Paranoya score start at 0, If at any time your paranoia exceeds you classlevel+HD you succumb to the influence of the styx and attack you party. When making the save you get either paranoia damage, paranoia healing, or nothing (see table 1).
    Table 1:
    {table=head]Save result|Adjustment to paranoia
    fail by 5 or more | +2*
    fail by less then 5 | +1
    pass by less then 5 | 0
    pass by 5 or more | -1**
    Nat 1 | Adjustment+1
    Nat 20 | Adjustment-1
    [/table]
    *+1 for every 5 below the DC
    ** an additional -1 for every 5 above the DC
    for critical failure/success, the bonuses are respectively increased/decreased by 1

    Restoration and greater restoration will restore paranoia of half the casterlevel (full casterlevel for greaster restoration), rounded down, to a minimum of 0. Immunity to mind affecting and confusion effects will grant you a +2 circumstance bonus, as well reduce any penalties by 1. The save must be made every hour not sleeping or meditating (starting 1 hour after sleeping/meditating), and again if at any time you get targeted by a mind affect spell or SLA. Leaving the layer lifts the paranoia, as long as you aren’t in the layer for 24 hours, and you make a DC30 willsave, else your paranoia score will remain, until you leave the layer again, (no willsave bonuses against specific effects count, general bonuses do count).

    When a player turns on the party he can be cured from his paranoia by beïng pinned down and treated with a casting of restoration or greater restoration to reduce his paranoia score until his paranoia score drops below the classlevel+other HD threshold). Since the paranoia effect is magic in nature, an Anti-magic field will protect from the paranoia effect

    The mist comes rolling in, you feel unnerved. Any moment now your partner may turn against you, especially that filthy rogue. You guess you will need to take precautions against ambushes. The mist does seem confined to the inner city, the outskirts and suburbs seem not to be bothered by the mist.

    Sidebar: when making hourly saves, you could crop the saves together like this:

    DM: After traveling 4 hours you reach a city, you feel uneasy traveling through this plane *have the players roll 4 saves*
    Player: i rolled a 20, 25, 32 and a nat 20(35)
    DM: your paranoiascore will decrease by 1, minimum 0

    It will speed up play, especially when everyone has low paranoiascores. Only when someone gets a high paranoiascore (i.e. close to his threshold) you will have to take the saves one by one.

    Layer 3: Minauros

    Introduction

    “they say that when you cry, your tears eventually run out, that is when you literally cry for your life as your life essence gets substituted for tears…”
    Minauros is a place where it constantly rains and where the ground is covered by filth. It seems a sorrowful environment. Fortunately ancient Greece and Dante back me up here. Dante’s turn will come up ahead, but this is the place for ancient Greece to shine.

    Literary references

    In ancient Greece the river Cocytus meant ‘river of the wailing’. The rain falling from the sky, horrific creatures around, black sludge on the ground rotting, withered, eyeless corpses. One of the Pools of Mnemosyne flows out from the lethe. The lethe ends in a waterfall from high above in the last of Mnemosyne pools. This last pool contains all the memories tied to regret in the world. The pool flows over to mix with the corpses and black sludge on the ground.

    Errata

    Once you enter this layer you feel remorseful. Your conscience gets heavier and if you have any burdens to bear (any shameful thing) you will only feel more remorse. Once you enter the layer you will start making checks you will start with making willsaves to remember your regrets. The DC starts at 12, every hour the DC increases by 2. This willsave is to resist remembering your regrets. Once you fail a save the DC resets, and you get a burden. Burdens could be considered as tokens A natural 1 counts as a critical burden, giving you 2 tokens, a natural 20 however resets the DC without giving out a burden. For each burden you receive you will make a willsave to not start crying, the DC is 15+3 for every burden, each burden received resets the will save to 12. Failing this save will make you cry (see effects in table 2).

    Table 2
    {table=head]Save result|Fort save DC
    fail by 5 or more|20+1*
    fail by less then 5|22
    pass by less then 5|20
    pass by more then 5|20-2**
    Nat 1|20+5*
    Nat 20|No fort save necessary, -1 burden
    [/table]
    *for every 5 you failed the DC by
    **for every 5 you passed the DC by

    When you are crying you will have tosee what will happen to you. This will be determined by rolling a d6. The damage done to you (table 3, penalties cumulative).

    Table 3
    {table=head]d6 result|effects
    1|Save result – 2 on 1 mental stat (random)
    2| -2 con (drain)
    3| -2 str (drain)
    4|10 HP drain
    5|10 damage
    6|Recuperation*
    [/table]

    *recuperation: you can clear 1 ability score of penalties tied to burdens, or lose 5 burdens.

    To lose burdens you can either roll really well, wait outside of Baator (recovering a burden per week outside of Baator), or rub water of the lethe (2 drops per burden) on the back of your neck (as if you were bearing a yoke or beam like workhorses and donkeys wear when dragging a plow). Since the burden (and crying) effect is magic in nature, an Anti-magic field will protect from these threats.

    You enter a mass of black sludge, rain and corpses. You notice the corpses have withered and lost their eyes. A wave of sadness waves over you and you start to feel a little depressed. Memories start to come back. While you wade through the corpses and sludge, you notice the sludge becomes less thick. In the background a sound of rushing water lifts the sense of urgency of you. You actually don’t want to go further…

    Sidebar: If an Antimagicfield is not present in the party you could present the party with an Antimagic artefact. When switched on it presents the partymembers with an antimagicfield, when off it will instantly force a save on the party (no more then 1 per hour). A fun way to present the party with this is having the party find a devil with the artifact, so they can obtain the artefact through killing the devil or making a pact or agreement.



    Layer 4: Phlegethos

    Introduction

    In FCII Phlegetos is a fiery and flaming place. So naturally, the Phlegethon is back. Even better, I will make this layer into a delta for the Phlegethon. Here the heat will be unbearable

    Literary references

    While there is no such are of Phlegethos, there is ofcourse the river Phlegethon. So here you will encounter the Phlegethon delta, some end in pools, some join the main river again upwards to other layers.

    Errata

    No errata here… FCII has already a great way of making it hard on the players entering here. Though I would say that jumping into the Phlegethos would give you 10d6 fire dmg per round, but then again, you would have to be really stupid to jump into a flaming river. 



    Layer 5: Stygia

    Introduction

    According to FCII Stygia is some king of tundra/ice sea. The lord of Stygia is Levistus, treachery incarnate. Levistus is frozen ehre in ice, and no matter what devils hack away, the ice that was chipped away grows back instantly.
    Literary references

    Sorry, no cold places in Hades’ realm. In Dante’s Divinia Commedia the last sircle of Hell is Cocytus. We have already seen Cocytus before where we used the river in the ancient greek sense of wailing and remorse. Now we will use Dante’s version of Cocytus which is a plane with ice, a place fit for the traitors.

    Errata

    Instead of severe exposure the cold version of the fire dmg in Phlegethos, but with d8’s instead of d6’s. However I would include the spring of the cocytus where the drifting traitors drift away in de river Cocytus mourning their lack of loyalty. On this layer of hell the effect of the Cocytus as burdening you with regret isn’t as strong yet. However, if a character with betrayal in their history comes here they will take double damage from the layer’s cold effect.



    Layer 6: Malbolge

    Introduction

    IN FCII Malbolge is a plane with acid lakes. So why not keep them in here?
    Literary references

    Nothing in classical literature mentions lakes of acid and the like.

    Errata

    Not gonna touch this with a 10 foot pole. Only an effect like on Phegethon and Stugia, where you take acid damage from the acid fumes in the air. Comparable with the previous layers, and d10’s for dmg size.



    Layer 7: Maladomini

    Introduction

    On this plane filth reigns supreme.

    Literary references

    None.

    Errata

    It is already nice, but I’d like to make a few additions: you will not be able to eat here. You will become sickened once you enter and any attempt to consume anything will lead to uncontrolled barfing. Any wounds you get will have to be healed with a DC 20 heal check before you can actually start healing. You will have to make that healcheck for every 10 points of damage from slashing or piercing weapons, with every 10 points of damage gotten this way the DC increases with 2. A failed healcheck will drain 1 con as the wound festers and gangrene sets in. 2 failed saves in a row will incur a disease, determined at random. The river styx comes through here too, when you draw near the Styx you feel the sudden urge to backstab your partymembers, or to trade your partymembers for a place in Levistus court. You won’t be able to join the court, but you have a feeling you will be able to make a deal with levistus in exchange for your partymembers. Dreams of riches overwhelm your conscience. In game mechanics this will translate to all aforementioned effects taking hold of you caused by the river styx, which one is up to the DM, tailor as needed.


    Layer 8: Cania

    Introduction

    The layer of Mephistoteles, lord of hellfire. Mephistoteles lives in a wasteland of ice, except for the springs of the Phlegethos. Mephistoteles make hellfire here by drawing out heat energy from all around him encasing the whole layer except for a few parts in icy cold.

    Literary references

    None worth mentioning.

    Errata

    Ongoing effects are already taken care of. When you draw near the spring of the Phlegethos you get overwhelmed by warmth, and when coming closer overwhelming heat (see Phlegethos, but double the dice). The Phlegethon rises from a hellfire spring, made by Mephistoteles.



    Layer 9: Nessus

    Introduction

    This is already a great piece of work. Not gonna tinker with it too much.
    Literary references
    Normally this would be Satan’s Citadel, but I’m gonna stick the FCII version of it.

    Errata

    The last pool of Mnemosyne is here, collecting all the forgotten knowledge, see the previous pools, but double the dmg effects, and raise the DC’s to taste.



    Epilogue

    Congratulations you are not yet bored by reading this document. You see clearly that Hell gets worse the further you go in. first I want to make clear that the numbers in this document are not conclusive, they are guidelines which should tell you that how bad this layer is, the next is going to be worse anyway. The later layers were sadly not that well supported in classical literature, but the earlier layers were fantastic! I had a lot of fun thinking up concepts for the earlier layers envisioning a lot of pain, suffering and flying books. Sure it’s not easy, but then again, it’s supposed to be Hell. It’s meant to be unbearable, unforgiving and the like. I’d rate this document’s challenge starting epic. Some stuff won’t be survivable by low lvl characters and on top of that there is the stuff brought in by WotC themselves. Have fun and kick those devil butts!
    changelog
    Spoiler
    Show
    • reformatted tables
    • added consequenses in Avernus
    • revamped the burden dmg
    • revamped the ways to lose burdens
    • added a way to avoid making saves for paranoia and burdens
    • specified when players should start amking saves after sleeping
    • added a section on how to speed up play despite hourly saves


    Want to use this, but looking for something more printable? Send me a PM with your e-mail asking for the document, and ye shall receive.
    Last edited by Socratov; 2012-05-12 at 02:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Have you consider taking a glance at Tyrants of the Nine Hells? It could prove to be a pretty good reference to what you're aiming at.
    ad maiorem Dei gloriam !

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Almagesto View Post
    Have you consider taking a glance at Tyrants of the Nine Hells? It could prove to be a pretty good reference to what you're aiming at.
    There are several references to that book in the spoiler section:

    While I browsed the classes I stumbled upon warlock, which led me to Hellfire warlock, which ultimately led me to Fiendish Codex 2.
    and

    Not that much, but in comparison with Hades’ realm, which had 5 rivers, each assigned to a specific task, in Fiendish Codex II (henceforth FCII) uses the Styx for just about any task necessary.
    and

    Normally this would be Satan’s Citadel, but I’m gonna stick the FCII version of it.
    EDIT:

    As far as the errata goes, it looks pretty workable to me. I actually liked the cosmology presented in FCII and your changes do a good job altering the flavor to make it even closer to the classical mythology. My only concern is that the first two tables are kind of confusing to parse since they're very different from traditional D & D tables. Table 3 was really good but I've read the first two twice and I can't make any sense of how they would work mechanically.
    Last edited by Steward; 2011-12-21 at 03:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    thank you for the PEACH, I'll work on the tables to make them more clear.

    also, yeah, i can do math for some idiotic and unkown reason hence the tables

    edit: the tables makeover:

    before:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Table 1:
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|Adjustment to paranoia
    Y>=(25-n*5) |1+n
    20<Y<25| +1
    25<=Y<=29 | 0
    Y>=25+n*5 | -n
    Nat 1 | Adjustment(Y)+1
    Nat 20 | Adjustment(Y)-1
    [/table]

    Table 2
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|Fort save DC
    Y>=(DC-n*5)|20+n*3
    20<Y<25|22
    25<=Y<=29|20
    Y>=25+n*5|20-n*2
    Nat 1|20+n*5
    Nat 20|No fort save necessary, -1 burden
    [/table]

    Table 3
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|effects
    Fail by 10 or more| -2 con (drain)
    Fail by 5 or more| -2 str (drain)
    Fail by less then 5|10 HP drain
    Pass by less then 5|10 damage
    Pass by 10 or more|nothing
    Nat 1 |Save result – 2 on 1 mental stat (random)
    Nat 20|Recuperation*
    [/table]


    after:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Table 1:
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|Adjustment to paranoia
    fail by 5 or more | +2*
    fail by less then 5 | +1
    pass by less then 5 | 0
    pass by 5 or more | -1**
    Nat 1 | Adjustment(Y)+1
    Nat 20 | Adjustment(Y)-1
    [/table]
    *+1 for every 5 below the DC
    ** an additional -1 for every 5 above the DC
    for critical failure/success, the bonuses are respectively increased/decreased by 1


    Table 2
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|Fort save DC
    fail by 5 or more|20+1*
    fail by less then 5|22
    pass by less then 5|20
    pass by more then 5|20-2**
    Nat 1|20+5*
    Nat 20|No fort save necessary, -1 burden
    [/table]
    *for every 5 you failed the DC by
    **for every 5 you passed the DC by

    Table 3
    {table=head]Save result(Y)|effects
    Fail by 10 or more| -2 con (drain)
    Fail by 5 or more| -2 str (drain)
    Fail by less then 5|10 HP drain
    Pass by less then 5|10 damage
    Pass by 10 or more|nothing
    Nat 1 |Save result – 2 on 1 mental stat (random)
    Nat 20|Recuperation*
    [/table]


    I know it's still not something a toddler could understand (unless ofcourse you have a frighteningly smart toddler), but it is easier to handle now... I think...

    Almagesto, I wrote it as a kind of supplement to FCII: Tyrants of the Nine Hells

    Last edited by Socratov; 2011-12-22 at 08:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Are the rivers sentient or do they just appear that way. A Spot check should be required to notice this effect either way.

    What happens if you fail your first save at the River Styx in Avernus. Do you just not get the +2 bonus or should something bad happen?

    What happens to you if you fail the Will save when you try to move closer to the river?

    What is the effect of paranoia damage? Not everyone has access to The Call of Cthulhu Campaign setting book.

    You really need to edit and proofread this and add breaks between paragraphs.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either.

    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.

    I've got a red pen and I'm not afraid to use it.

    my creations

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Are the rivers sentient or do they just appear that way. A Spot check should be required to notice this effect either way.
    no, they are not

    What happens if you fail your first save at the River Styx in Avernus. Do you just not get the +2 bonus or should something bad happen?
    good point, since the toxic fumes attack the body i should include that you will take 2d6 acid damage per hour

    What happens to you if you fail the Will save when you try to move closer to the river?
    ah, forgot this one too , actually you will be compelled to move towards the river

    What is the effect of paranoia damage? Not everyone has access to The Call of Cthulhu Campaign setting book.
    in the text i stated that should ever your paranoia score equal or exceed your classlevels+other hitdice (like from monsters and the like) you will attack your allies.

    You really need to edit and proofread this and add breaks between paragraphs.

    Debby
    true, proofreading is the last step, this is just a test of concept

    On my computer i have it in a word format, and have formatted it to taste, when it's done I'll make it into a PDF and e-mail it when asked for it.

    Debater of the Tyrion Lannister fanclub

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Without the breaks between sections and paragraphs, it makes it just too dense to want to read. You'd get more feedback if this were just easier on the eyes.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either.

    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.

    I've got a red pen and I'm not afraid to use it.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    good point i see my homebrewfu isn't so strong yet

    edit: fixed... a bit
    Last edited by Socratov; 2011-12-22 at 02:52 PM.

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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Both the effects of Paranoia in Dis and the Remorsefulness in Minauros suffer from overuse of tables and too many saves for too little effect.

    If all it matters is whether the character is paranoid enough to attack his own party without there being any earlier consequences, I think you've set up a very poor test. It's too much work to force save after save for such a let down. Who cares if he's paranoid. If he attacks his party, they'll knock him out and gag him until the effects wear off. It is a lot of work for both the DM and the PCs to make all those saves for very little pay off.

    The same is true for the remorsefulness. It is a lot of jumping through hoops (which gets boring very quickly) for a little bit ability drain, hit point drain or 10 points of damage.

    Since very few adventuring parties will tackle going to any of the Planes at early levels, the consequences aren't challenging.


    Rather let the environment have more interesting effects on the PCs. For example, a character who is crying should take -2 distraction penalty to saves and attacks. [ I just made up this penalty so bear with me].

    A character who is paranoid should be: Jealous, easily offended, suspicious, humorless, secretive, vigilant; exaggerates magnitude of offenses against oneself, refuses to accept blame and might take a -2 penalty on all diplomacy check until he is cured.

    If you make the PCs keep the paranoid effect until he has been one month out of Baator, that might be excessive.

    See the rules for Sanity in the online SRD here: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/sanity.htm

    The problem with all the saves is that it detrimentally slow down the game and then it stops being fun and becomes boring. As a DM, that's the last thing I want. A save or two is fine. Saving very few rounds becomes tedious if they have to do it ad nuaseum because they can't escape from the place. It shouldn't become a shackle for the players and the DM.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    in Dis the save has te be amde only once per hour in game time, so combat will be unaffected, it would effectively only affect travel time.

    As for the burden system, again, once per hour you take the willsave (same as previous). Only when you fail the willsave you need so make a fortsave. the willsave DC's aren't that steep (at the start at least) i forgot to mention however that receiving a burden will reset the willsave DC. I didnt settle for nasty effects because the devils etc here are allready enough on the party to handle. It is only when you remain longer on this plane then neccessary. As for the month out of baator is indeed quite steep, ill rewrite it to "when outisde of Baator you will lose a burden at a rate of 1 per day."

    remember this is for high level players... then a save DC of 30 is a challenge, anything less is just cake. assuming you save on 25 75% of the time and 50% on 28 you will take 7 hours to reach the 50% chance line when you fail then you will need to beat a DC of 20, wich is easy...also, notice you will need at least 4 burdens to reach a DC of 27 (again close to the 50% chance line), so extrapolating for that you will need to remain in minauros for 4*7=28 hours ingame time to start crying. Also, this is abilitydrain, nog damage, so it won't heal as easily, besides, the effects stack so yeah, that is nasty. Fortunatly the solution is on the next layer. I could turn the penalties for crying into a 'roll a d6 to see what you get' type of thing. the hp drain and dmg are supposed to be trivial.

    the effects you mention are not that heavy. Penatlies on skills are next to worthless since high level party (15-20 and beyond) will have either had a great many skillpoints and thus not notice the effect, or won't use skillpoints anywayso they coulnd't care less. Diplomacy is broken as hell (even with the Rich Burlew rules, which I could autosucceed on a rushed check by lvl 6), so that wont actually be interesting. Penalties on attack is actually only bad for martial classes, and stat drain is hazardous for everyone. A fighter could actually take the con drain a bit, but a caster will quickly lose his con and woudl fear for his life, reverse so for mental stats. The paranoia should be roleplayed, but when he loses his mind, he will turn on the party potentially destroying the party, or at least damaging them.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    The problem with enforcing a saving throw every hour in game is that "time" can be quick or slow and it something the DM has to remember to do along with everything else.

    It can also be silly if the PCs are sleeping and one fails a saving throw. Is he gonna wake up and attack his party or continue sleeping?

    I am not fond of the DM hijacking the actions of PCs that way. It isn't fun for anyone. Making them suffer with damage or skill losses is one thing. Forcing them to act out of character is another thing.

    With my luck the pacifist PC will be the one to fail his save. It is one thing to tell a player that he feels paranoid or feels and overwhelming desire to attack his fellow PCs but taking away total player control has never felt right to me as a DM unless the PC is actually possessed.

    Furthermore these effects should probably only affect non-natives to the 9 Hells. Devils should be immune to these effects.

    It's all well to have fire and brimstone affecting the PCs. How much should the environment have a detrimental impact and how much does it hamper game play. I don't like hourly saves. Time can move quickly in game too and then I'm stuck saying " roll a save....roll a save...." until either it's annoying or worse, someone fails and it is even more annoying to deal within the party. The end result is that the adventure gets bogged down in hogtying the PC who failed his save or having to deal with a combat when nobody wants it or is even prepared for it. Either way, it's a show stopper.

    The paranoia should be roleplayed, but when he loses his mind, he will turn on the party potentially destroying the party, or at least damaging them.
    That is not fun. Nobody likes save or die rolls and so I use them very very sparingly. Successfully saving one leaves a sense of accomplishment on the PCs. Just playing the odd is not a good idea. You are asking for 24 saves a day from each PC. That is just too many. It will bog down the adventure again and again and again. Eventually I'll just decide they've gone native and are no long affected by the environmental issues. This is a very bad idea. It's fine if you want to be a killer DM but those DMs generally don't last long because their games aren't fun.

    I like the the mists are handled in Ravenloft. Yes they are poisonous BUT you can buy the antidote from the gypsies. And the mists come and go randomly at the DMs discretion.

    That is how you handle paranoia in a gothic setting. In a demonic setting (especially one based in Call of Cthulhu) the idea is that the PCs are supposed to go mad. That is how all of CoC games end. If my players want CoC, we'll play that but generally D&D is supposed to be heroic fantasy. Not saying it can't have elements of it. But you are not going to have happy players if it becomes excessive. I think making PCs roll 24 saves a day is excessive. Not even CoC players had to do that.

    EDIT

    I see you have updated your initial post since I wrote my critique.
    Since this is what happens in the river Styx according to the Fiendish Codex II:

    Any living mortal who comes into contact with the Styx must make a successful DC 25 Fortitude saving throw or be afflicted with temporary amnesia. The DC increases to 30 if more than half the character's body is immersed, and to 35 for full immersion. The amnesia lasts for 3d6 days.
    You might want to use similar effects for the other rivers.

    Perhaps this would be an easier way to say it this way:

    The river Phlegethon has the consistency of lava; instead of molten rock, it is full of boiling blood, filth and bile. Any living being who comes into contact with the Phlegethon must make a successful DC 25 Fortitude save or take 2 points of hellfire damage per round of contact. The DC increases to 30 if more than half the character's body is immersed, and to 35 for full immersion. Characters who fail their save must also make a successful Reflex save (DC 25) or contact Filth Fever.


    The cold, black, roiling water of river Styx releases toxic fumes. In a 30-foot radius from any point of the river (except for the gates, which are magically warded against its effects), living beings must make a Fortitude save (DC 25) or take 3d6 points of acid damage and must make another saving an hour later (also at DC 25). A successful save negates the damage and renders the target immune to the river's fumes as long as the target remains in Hell. Leaving Hell and coming back starts the process from the beginning.

    Upon making a successful save, the target also gains a temporary +2 Circumstance bonus to avoid the other adverse effects of the river Styx.

    Anyone touching the the river Styx must make a Fortitude save (DC 35) or become affected by a mind-affecting rage that renders you incapable of telling foe from friend and causes you to attack the target nearest to you for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that are immune to mind-affecting effects are not immune to this but gain a +5 bonus to the check. If there is no target available, you fight against an imaginary foe. Once a creature has been affected by the mind-affecting effect, it is immune to this effect for the next 24 hours.

    Let me know what you think.
    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2011-12-25 at 09:57 AM. Reason: adding things.
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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    The problem with enforcing a saving throw every hour in game is that "time" can be quick or slow and it something the DM has to remember to do along with everything else.

    It can also be silly if the PCs are sleeping and one fails a saving throw. Is he gonna wake up and attack his party or continue sleeping?

    I am not fond of the DM hijacking the actions of PCs that way. It isn't fun for anyone. Making them suffer with damage or skill losses is one thing. Forcing them to act out of character is another thing.

    With my luck the pacifist PC will be the one to fail his save. It is one thing to tell a player that he feels paranoid or feels and overwhelming desire to attack his fellow PCs but taking away total player control has never felt right to me as a DM unless the PC is actually possessed.

    Furthermore these effects should probably only affect non-natives to the 9 Hells. Devils should be immune to these effects.

    It's all well to have fire and brimstone affecting the PCs. How much should the environment have a detrimental impact and how much does it hamper game play. I don't like hourly saves. Time can move quickly in game too and then I'm stuck saying " roll a save....roll a save...." until either it's annoying or worse, someone fails and it is even more annoying to deal within the party. The end result is that the adventure gets bogged down in hogtying the PC who failed his save or having to deal with a combat when nobody wants it or is even prepared for it. Either way, it's a show stopper.



    That is not fun. Nobody likes save or die rolls and so I use them very very sparingly. Successfully saving one leaves a sense of accomplishment on the PCs. Just playing the odd is not a good idea. You are asking for 24 saves a day from each PC. That is just too many. It will bog down the adventure again and again and again. Eventually I'll just decide they've gone native and are no long affected by the environmental issues. This is a very bad idea. It's fine if you want to be a killer DM but those DMs generally don't last long because their games aren't fun.

    I like the the mists are handled in Ravenloft. Yes they are poisonous BUT you can buy the antidote from the gypsies. And the mists come and go randomly at the DMs discretion.

    That is how you handle paranoia in a gothic setting. In a demonic setting (especially one based in Call of Cthulhu) the idea is that the PCs are supposed to go mad. That is how all of CoC games end. If my players want CoC, we'll play that but generally D&D is supposed to be heroic fantasy. Not saying it can't have elements of it. But you are not going to have happy players if it becomes excessive. I think making PCs roll 24 saves a day is excessive. Not even CoC players had to do that.

    EDIT

    I see you have updated your initial post since I wrote my critique.
    Since this is what happens in the river Styx according to the Fiendish Codex II:



    You might want to use similar effects for the other rivers.

    Perhaps this would be an easier way to say it this way:

    The river Phlegethon has the consistency of lava; instead of molten rock, it is full of boiling blood, filth and bile. Any living being who comes into contact with the Phlegethon must make a successful DC 25 Fortitude save or take 2 points of hellfire damage per round of contact. The DC increases to 30 if more than half the character's body is immersed, and to 35 for full immersion. Characters who fail their save must also make a successful Reflex save (DC 25) or contact Filth Fever.


    The cold, black, roiling water of river Styx releases toxic fumes. In a 30-foot radius from any point of the river (except for the gates, which are magically warded against its effects), living beings must make a Fortitude save (DC 25) or take 3d6 points of acid damage and must make another saving an hour later (also at DC 25). A successful save negates the damage and renders the target immune to the river's fumes as long as the target remains in Hell. Leaving Hell and coming back starts the process from the beginning.

    Upon making a successful save, the target also gains a temporary +2 Circumstance bonus to avoid the other adverse effects of the river Styx.

    Anyone touching the the river Styx must make a Fortitude save (DC 35) or become affected by a mind-affecting rage that renders you incapable of telling foe from friend and causes you to attack the target nearest to you for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that are immune to mind-affecting effects are not immune to this but gain a +5 bonus to the check. If there is no target available, you fight against an imaginary foe. Once a creature has been affected by the mind-affecting effect, it is immune to this effect for the next 24 hours.

    Let me know what you think.
    Debby
    the thing is, all the saves are to be made while consious, and yes, the final paranoia is actually like a posession (should take long enough to get there though). The paranoia could heal by passing the save by more then 5, and by castings of restoration

    [QUOTE document]Restoration and greater restoration will restore paranoia of half the casterlevel (full casterlevel for greater restoration)[/QUOTE]
    (bolded for addendum)

    Addendum: "Players will only have to start making saves an hour since waking up from sleep or meditation. When a player turns on the party he can be cured from his paranoia by beïng pinned down and treated with a casting of restoration or greater restoration to reduce his paranoia score." (will update in OP)

    On the amount of saves, without sleep (which is mentioned) they will have to take only 15-16 saves a day, and I would from expreience) have them take them in groups like following (for example):

    DM: After traveling 4 hours you reach a city, you feel uneasy traveling through this plane *have the players roll 4 saves*
    Player: i rolled a 20, 25, 32 and a nat 20(35)
    DM: your paranoiascore will decrease by 1, minimum 0
    it seems wierd, but it will speed up play, especially when everyone has low paranoiascores), only when someone gets a high paranoiascore you will have to take save by save. I'll make sure to include it into the document

    Another point is that with less saves, the gradual descending into the suck is gone. The either 1 save and really severe penalties, or a walk in the park. to reduce the amount of saves i could have an AMF protect the party from the effect.

    addendum: "Since the paranoia effect is magic in nature, an Anti-magic field will protect from the paranoia effect" (for both the paranoia and the burdens)

    edit: of course i update the OP with the corrections, else i would have to update the text by continually by having to search for every update in the posts...
    Last edited by Socratov; 2011-12-26 at 09:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    I would just like to mention that in addition to Greek and Dantean Hells having the levels, there is also Buddhist Hell, Naraka.
    Now not all schools of Buddhism subscribe to the belief in the Hells, but some do; for them, you can get reincarnated as not only a person or animal, but also as a god or demigod (these lives are similar to what Westerners call "Heaven"), as a "hungry ghost" (a sort of vampire-ghost hybrid that hangs out on Earth, haunting people), or as a "hell being." These are the worst sinners of all, and can wind up in any of sixteen levels of Hell, eight hot, eight cold. The cold ones are simply progressively colder, so not a lot of fascinating stuff there, but the hot Hells are fascinating. The top one is a massive plain of battle strewn with weapons, where everyone fights all day until everyone's dead; then they all come back to life and start over. (Oddly, this is also Emmanuel Swedenborg's vision of Hell, and pretty much the Norse idea of Heaven, Valhalla.) Next level down adds NPC's--I mean, demons--that hack everybody with flaming axes and saws (chainsaws, I hope). Third level replaces the demons with giant moving rocks that crush people. After this, it mostly turns into just increased heat, which apparently distracts everyone from the fighting; some levels involve stabbing with flaming spears, but hey, you're already on fire. The last level is described as what it would be like to be immortal and thrown into the Sun, still living but completely burned.
    And then, as if that wasn't enough, there are sort of inter-level minor Hells for people too bad for one and not bad enough for the next; all four are pretty green meadows that you step into after finally leaving Hell. A past loved one appears to you, offering a refreshing drink of clean water, or whatever else might be most comforting. However...in Grater Hell, they appear at the top of a big grassy hill that turns into graters as you try to climb it. In Needle Hell, they're on the opposite side of a wide meadow, and all the blades of grass are needles. In Corpse Mud Hell, they offer you a dip in a nice pool, which turns into mud filled with corpses when you jump in. I feel like there's a fourth one...it's been a while since I read about the minor Hells.
    Anyway, there's some more reference material for you. Enjoy!

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    haha, thanks, maybe for a next project , although, the one with the crushing rocks looks a bit like "rocks fall you die" that would be a little bit ironic wouldn't it?

    but let's first finish this one.

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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    [QUOTE=Socratov;12432372]the thing is, all the saves are to be made while consious, and yes, the final paranoia is actually like a posession (should take long enough to get there though). The paranoia could heal by passing the save by more then 5, and by castings of restoration[/qupte]

    Then you should state that the saves are only made by conscious characters in your text. Assuming 8 hours of rest, and a standard 24 hours in a day, each PC would make 16 saves a day. I still think that is too many and would go with once a day.

    Obviously, Dante made all of his saving throws.

    Restoration and greater restoration will restore paranoia of half the caster level (full caster level for greater restoration)
    I think you mean that restoration and greater restoration will lower the adjustment to paranoia. Restoration lowers the adjustment equal to half the caster's level, rounded down. Greater restoration lowers the adjustment equal to the caster's level. Lesser restoration should probably just lower the adjustment by 1. Using this method, it would be quite possible to have a paranoia level less than 0.

    Otherwise, it wasn't clear. Also, caster level is two words.

    You should probably remove the spoiler for your main text. There really isn't anything that needs to be hidden.


    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2011-12-27 at 08:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Classical Greece, Dante and the 9 hells [PEACH]

    good point, i'll add in a reminder that paranoia can't be less then 0

    about restoration: they actually reduce the paranoia.

    for example: a character(let's call him John) with 20 HD total can have a paranoia score between 0 and 20, he currently has 16 because of poor rolling. The partycleric (also lvl 20) casts resoration on him with a casterlevel of (yep, you guessed it) 20, so the cleric reduces John's paranoiascore by 20/2=10 leaving John with a paranoia score of 6. If the cleric had cast greater restoration, John's paranoia score would be {16-20;min=0}=0

    John has made some other poor rolls (the poor fellow rolls natural 1's by the dozen) and ended up with a score of 26, he is currently attacking his party, but fortunately has been grappled and pinned down by the party monk with improved grapple. While pinned the cleric casts greater restoration and reducesJoh's paranoiascore to 26-20=6, thus allowing John to come to his senses again.

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