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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Adventure in Celestia

    Hello, friends!

    My players have travelled to Mount Celestia and want to climb it to seek justice at Torms hands. They messed up pretty bad in Lunia, the first layer while traveling around looking for an archon to send them up faster, and have decided to climb it (to choose the righteous way, not the easy way).

    The question I have to you, friends... What to do with this climb? Mount Celestia is said to be one of the rare places where adventurers can let their guard down. Also, it is said that climb is more and more difficult to those not worthy. How should I make the travel more engaging? I am planning to let them see Bahamuts palace as a test to our parties rogue. Any other ideas and maybe hints where I could find some plot hooks for Celestia?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Guys? Is there anyone with ideas?

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    I hesitate to suggest this, but perhaps turn it into some sort of skill challenge (from 4e)?

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    I hesitate to suggest this, but perhaps turn it into some sort of skill challenge (from 4e)?
    That has been my thought. In abyss nice change of just demon battles was some demonic possessions, betrayal, you know, abysses way of dealing with parties cohesion. But in good aligned planes it's hard for me to imagine any significant challenges. Maybe something with the will to proceed of evil aligned characters?

    A rogue murdered innocent inhabitant of Celestia. But to me that seems like prospect of Torms justice at the end of journey, not during it. Maybe there could be some crazed archon who wants to be judge and executioner at the same time? Is it even possible for archon to go mad?

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Quote Originally Posted by ice4cow View Post
    That has been my thought. In abyss nice change of just demon battles was some demonic possessions, betrayal, you know, abysses way of dealing with parties cohesion. But in good aligned planes it's hard for me to imagine any significant challenges. Maybe something with the will to proceed of evil aligned characters?

    A rogue murdered innocent inhabitant of Celestia. But to me that seems like prospect of Torms justice at the end of journey, not during it. Maybe there could be some crazed archon who wants to be judge and executioner at the same time? Is it even possible for archon to go mad?
    This might be one of the few places where a 5E angel could be appropriate. A so-Good-it's-bad type.

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Quote Originally Posted by ice4cow View Post
    Hello, friends!

    My players have travelled to Mount Celestia and want to climb it to seek justice at Torms hands. They messed up pretty bad in Lunia, the first layer while traveling around looking for an archon to send them up faster, and have decided to climb it (to choose the righteous way, not the easy way).

    The question I have to you, friends... What to do with this climb? Mount Celestia is said to be one of the rare places where adventurers can let their guard down. Also, it is said that climb is more and more difficult to those not worthy. How should I make the travel more engaging? I am planning to let them see Bahamuts palace as a test to our parties rogue. Any other ideas and maybe hints where I could find some plot hooks for Celestia?
    You could have good monsters proposing the PCs challenges like "best me at wrestling and you can pass" or "beat me in a race and you'll gain a special item".

    Or you could have encounters based on exploiting the characters' flaws and negative traits, that they have to overcome in order to climb higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by ice4cow View Post
    A rogue murdered innocent inhabitant of Celestia. But to me that seems like prospect of Torms justice at the end of journey, not during it. Maybe there could be some crazed archon who wants to be judge and executioner at the same time? Is it even possible for archon to go mad?
    Excuse me, but what is supposed to be crazy/mad about that?

    An Angel IS judge and executioner. It's their job.

    And if this rogue murdered innocents, he will be judge appropriately.


    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    This might be one of the few places where a 5E angel could be appropriate. A so-Good-it's-bad type.
    Yeah, no. 5e angels are only bad if there is they commit an error in judgement (due to being tricked by outside forces or not) and then commit an evil act due to it. It's incredibly rare.

    Some angels might be harsh, but they're not the "actually just as bad as the bad guys" kind.

    And again, the rogue is apparently a murderer of innocents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Yeah, no. 5e angels are only bad if there is they commit an error in judgement (due to being tricked by outside forces or not) and then commit an evil act due to it. It's incredibly rare.

    Some angels might be harsh, but they're not the "actually just as bad as the bad guys" kind.

    And again, the rogue is apparently a murderer of innocents.
    That's not a very original take. The fluff specifies that they are unyielding and unpersuadable. It's a bit silly to also say they have perfect judgement when they're basically the prototypical campaign-killer Paladin.

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    Post Re: Adventure in Celestia

    There are a few things that come to mind that you could do here in Celestia, though a lot of this is more RP focused and less dangerous then a battle for your characters' lives.

    First, you could make challenges for ascending higher on the mountain beyond a minimum height require passing tests or archieving feats that indicate growth as a person. For a classic example, the short-tempered Barbarian has to learn to control his rage instead of the other way around, or the know-it-all mage has to learn to leave other people in their worth, instead of belitteling them all the time. Make it something personal and not easily recognisable as a test.

    Second, you can have optional challenges or such for neat rewards. Fun and creative challenges seem the best to me for this kind of thing, like a contest where each participant has to tell a predetermined story without lying, even though the story is impossible. Or something else creative and fun in its own right like that. Have a usefull but not too powerfull item as a reward, or even only a title and some prestige among the gathered creatures of good.

    Third and possibly the easiest but probably the least rewarding, you can have some RP with souls living/climbing the mountain, about their experiences/stories. If there ever was a PC or NPC the party liked and lost, or someone important to the plot who died before, here is a nice time to have them show up. Make sure to roleplay them as dead, and think how that impacted them.

    These are the ideas that come to mind at the moment. Together with making sure to use all the different creatures one can encouter on a plane of good besides just the obvious angels, i don't think i can help you further. Hopefully this'll be of some help to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    That's not a very original take. The fluff specifies that they are unyielding and unpersuadable. It's a bit silly to also say they have perfect judgement when they're basically the prototypical campaign-killer Paladin.
    The "angels are actually bad guys, m'kay?" take is even less original, and there is nothing silly about saying they have incredibly good judgement.

    An angel will examine a situation, pick the option they judge the best in both benevolence and in respect of the law, and then stick to it. Note that it doesn't mean angels can't disagree or have different judgements, since they still have their own personalities and the like, which give them subjectivity, it just means that angels will pick one of the many good options at their disposal.

    Never got why it irked people to have good people be good. It's the same kind of mindset that lead to the " must make Paladin fall" mentality of so many DMs in 3.X.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-12-07 at 12:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Quote Originally Posted by ice4cow View Post
    Hello, friends!

    My players have travelled to Mount Celestia and want to climb it to seek justice at Torms hands. They messed up pretty bad in Lunia, the first layer while traveling around looking for an archon to send them up faster, and have decided to climb it (to choose the righteous way, not the easy way).

    The question I have to you, friends... What to do with this climb? Mount Celestia is said to be one of the rare places where adventurers can let their guard down. Also, it is said that climb is more and more difficult to those not worthy. How should I make the travel more engaging? I am planning to let them see Bahamuts palace as a test to our parties rogue. Any other ideas and maybe hints where I could find some plot hooks for Celestia?
    If they climb so far, I would utilize Major Positive-Dominant trait, converted from 3.5 to 5:

    Major-Positive Plane. When you enter a major-positive dominant area, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become blinded for 1 minute by the brilliance of the surroundings.
    At the start of each of your turns, you regain 5 hit points. In addition, if you are at full hit points at the start of your turn, you gain 5 temporary hit points.
    You must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw each round that your temporary hit points exceed your normal hit point total. Failing the saving throw results in you exploding in a riot of energy, killing you.

    Yes, the 3.5 Manual of the Planes did not state any energy-related traits, but as a DM you are empowered, I think.

    Also, I would present a series of tests that don't relate to combat.

    For example, when the party takes a long rest, a celestial changes weather to rain or snowfall (with a spell), and asks the party to let him join. If the party refuses - oops.

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    The "angels are actually bad guys, m'kay?" take is even less original, and there is nothing silly about saying they have incredibly good judgement.

    An angel will examine a situation, pick the option they judge the best in both benevolence and in respect of the law, and then stick to it. Note that it doesn't mean angels can't disagree or have different judgements, since they still have their own personalities and the like, which give them subjectivity, it just means that angels will pick one of the many good options at their disposal.

    Never got why it irked people to have good people be good. It's the same kind of mindset that lead to the " must make Paladin fall" mentality of so many DMs in 3.X.
    As written, angels barely have personalities until they fall - that's why chaotic deities produce lawful angels. They exist to further a specific mission and are created for that purpose. Angels "act out the will of their gods" "follow(ing) a single driving purpose, as decreed by its deity." Angels kill "without remorse" and are sent "not to serve but to command." An angel "never acquiesces or gives way" under any circumstances. And by fluff, angels are only creatures capable of service after falling. (All quotes from the MM.)

    The Monster Manual says they're good, but they're presented as more lawfully neutral.
    Last edited by QuickLyRaiNbow; 2017-12-07 at 01:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    Opinion follows.

    While the denizens of Mount Celestia are not pacifists, they direct their Righteous Violence against the Evils in other Planes or any that dare invade. For existing among the Seven Heavens worthiness is measured by philosophy and action. Not from the Seventh Layer to the Sixth, but at some point, probably best the Second to the First, the mere desire to advance to the next Layer is what holds you back. You're not committing Sin. You are deserving and welcomed in the Layer you're in, but that last vestige of selfishness is the lock to the door. The final test is knowing true contentment. When you truly don't desire anything more than you have, you get everything in Enlightenment. You don't enter the next Layer. The next Layer, the First Layer, consumes you. Not literal in the sense you're in Oblivion. You have true Understanding and perceive the Seven Heavens as One Heaven.

    Living creatures cannot reach the First Layer. The need for food, air, and rest is the desire they cannot give up; thus the door is always locked. To travel to the next Layer from where they are requires a different track than the spirits and angels. Their free will, no matter how Saintly they are, is still potential for Sin. However, that doesn't forbid them from the Heavens.

    Being living creatures it is inherent they have a Purpose and not meant to remain. To achieve their Purpose they need to prove their Righteousness. They will be tested, but they can't know they are being tested. If they know they are being tested then the choices they make are calculations. When they're ignorant of the tests their choices are made by their true selves. Success is using their Free Will to move away from Sin. Tests are measuring their values, their ethics, their morals. A test could be just the willingness to make a choice and accept the consequences. Depending on the Purpose, passing the tests can be fulfilling the Purpose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erit View Post
    "The DM is the world, the gods, the trees and the bees. But no matter what covenant is struck or words exchanged, the DM is not the PCs."

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    Default Re: Adventure in Celestia

    I think that a heroic party travelling on Mount Celestia could operate on the idea that civilization is almost all help and no harm, the higher on the mountain the truer, but the fantasy wilderness remains equal to itself. Dangerous unaligned beasts and monstruosities, as well as "neutral" elementals, roam the slopes and cliffs.

    That or nature could be more on the brutish side than usual, to further the contrast.

    But for a party that is not quite so heroic, or even includes an evil member like it seems to be the case here, the inhabitants would be a problem too. The PCs are not welcome in the Seven Heavens.

    On the subject of 5e angels, the story I would tell is that they are celestial constructs from Arcadia, with their factory default being more lawful than good. They can, however, progress toward any alignment, like that chaotic good angel from TotYP who I would not consider fallen.

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