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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Callos_DeTerran's Avatar

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    Default Find the plotholes kiddies!

    This is a fairly simple exercise for many a Playground goer, but nonetheless I hope to get some good feedback from this entire thing. One thing that has always bothered me about games I've played or seen were little plot holes, things like 'why would they do that?' or 'how did they get that effect' that are mostly written off as 'A wizard did it' or DM fiat. Basically no explanation except for cinematic/plot related needs. Another thing thats been recently bugging me is...well....sufficiently playing monsters that are smarter then myself.

    It stands to reason that these creatures would have up defenses that I wouldn't think of, or maybe just forget certain things or do certain things simply because of their alien mindsets. Its not so much a problem but occasionally a PC stumbles across something I missed that the monster in question would not have, and I realize this as it happens. Typically I let the player go through with it cause I give them credit for thinking it up and I think it's rude to just say 'Nah, didn't work. They planned for this.' because I forgot it. I'd rather say it and have the written up adventure to back me up instead of saying it on the spot.

    So...this is simple....Find the plot holes and oversights! If you want, give some suggestion on how to handle or fix it, or if you think the enemy is being too smart for it's given species (Which is the same as accidentally playing them dumber, to me at least.)
    _______________________________


    Here's what I have so far. (Minus a certain level of detail)

    A long time ago, approximately two thousand years ago, six alien creatures descended from the night sky. Called moonlords (28 or higher HD mooncalves) these creatures spent their time watching and observing the tragedies and great evils of the world, only reacting when they themselves were interacted with. Nobody knew just why they were doing it, but they seemed benign enough and nobody wanted to tick them off just for the sake of ticking them off. Eventually a time of tranquility and peace started to settle over the lands the moonlords watched, but it didn't last long. Somebody or something started to stir up new wars and hostilities and they were eventually traced back to the great alien creatures in the sky as the source.

    When this was discovered the people rose up against the six moonlords to try and strike them down out of the sky. The attempts failed but it did drive the alien beings into hiding, they couldn't return to where they had come from yet since they hadn't completed what they had come here to do. Instead they laid low for a year or two and subtly spread around different verisons of what was essentially the same prophecy (Each version is tailored to a different religion or race) that were for the most part discounted as idiocy or destroyed as heresy. (Pelor's followers were particularly zealous in their destruction since the events detailed in their prophecy mentioned the moon overtaking the sun) This prophecy, essentially, tells of a time when the moonlords would rouse themselves from their slumber and resume their mission. This mission always pertains to summoning forth a great being (each version mentions a particularly important figure for the religion it goes with) of that faith, but is preceded by a time of great conflict and strife.

    Fast forward to close to present day (The past isn't as particularly important as the 'present day' of the adventure) in an isolated piece of yuan-ti territory. An anethema called 'Merrshaulk's Coil', heralded as the greatest prophet of his time, finds what is now known as 'the Lunar Serpent Codex' in the ruins of an old and deserted yuan-ti city. You guessed it, this is the yuan-ti copy of the prophecy the moonlords were spreading around two thousand years ago. Inside the Codex, Coil found instructions on a rite that would rip free a chunk of the Material Plane which could then be consumed by Merrshaulk and greatly increase the yuan-ti god's powers, who would then presumably reward whoever brought this about and bring about a reign of serpentine rule over mammalian races. In order to accomplish this goal a war would have to be brought about and sometime during this conflict six 'Great Eggs' would make their presence known to the holy. Awakening each of the eggs (Each of which required a different ritual) would provide the yuan-ti with the Spawn of Merrshaulk who would guide the chosen people in the proper sacrifices and rites to feed Merrshaulk. This all needs to happen by a certain date, a lunar conjunction.

    You can guess that it really guides Coil to the six hiding moonlords, and all that entails.

    Since Coil IS a yuan-ti, he is most interested in the third egg, 'the Egg of Venom' which isn't in yuan-ti lands or anywhere close to them. More importantly he still needed to start a war and his own cult of loyal followers wasn't of the right size to fit the requirements to guide the faithful to the Eggs. This lead to several overtures of alliance with other neighboring yuan-ti cities, about half of which actually agreed with the other half condemning Coil as a mad fool and fit to be killed. Instead of staying in his homeland, and getting oodles of his own species killed in a war he didn't think would be great enough, he took those loyal to civilized lands to rouse up a war that way. Not to mention picking up the sacrifices needed for the various rituals needed to awaken the Eggs once they could be found.

    This is where the campaign would stand as the PC's enter into the situation. People all over the country have begun to disappear into thin air, fingers are being pointed at differing kingdoms and racial hostilities are on the rise. Naturally people want to know whats going on but anyone who gets to close disappear to, and more important things have started to occur. At first it'll be fairly simple with the PC's on the trail of the kidnapped people (Perhaps loved ones), then they'll find Coil's yuan-ti at the heart of the kidnapping ring when they discover one of the cells in a nearby town. After stamping out that particular infestation, Coil will have been alerted to someone intefering with his plans. Cue diversion. Rather then get his own limited number of followers involved, he'll divert them back to his own homeland on a false trail. The idea behind it being that he hopes the appearance of armed humans/elves/halflings/etc. where there had previously been none (The yuan-ti are far away remember? They don't come in contact with non-scalies often) will force his fellow countrymen to the false assumpation that the PC's were and advanced sabotage/scouting party for a larger mammalian assault.

    This has the benefits of, hopefully, provoking a war on one front while diverting few hunters the placid yuan-ti had sent on his tail to try and get rid of him back to the front lines to let him run free. A freedom that involves getting a second war started while the PC's are in Reptile's-from-Hell land. By the time they'll get back enough conflict will have happened for the moonlords to partially leave their stasis and send out the signals for those who had the prophecies to find them. Obviously this'll have a lot of meaning for the churches that kept ahold of them and cause more then a little religious conflict, but more importantly it's dragging the final players into the game. The keepers. Y'know those creepy poisonous hive-minded fellows from the Fiend Folio whos only job is keeping secrets and killing those who have them? Yeah, them. It's their job to keep the method of awakening the moonlords secret know that the moonlords have started to move (There's going to be some side information here involving the creation of the keepers, and more importantly how their creator set them to this specific task).

    By the time the PC's get back, they should have enough magical umph and knowledge to find Coil's main lair in the middle of a highly...poisonous swamp. When they finally get to it, they'll find the place under sustained keeper assault and will need to battle through keeper and yuan-ti both to get to the inner sanctum...where the first Egg is. Ideally they prevent the egg from even opening in the first place by saving the sacrifical victims and forcing Coil to flee. Ideally. Realistically though the egg will either open or Coil escapes of his own violition to get to the second Egg (If he leaves on his own then it won't take as long to wake up the second Egg, so it'll hatch when the PC's arrive). Cue final battle with Coil. And if the second Egg hatches, the other ones as well.

    If Coil has survived this long, he'll most likely realize the error of his ways upon actually seeing the supposed Servants of Merrshaulk and pull a Face-Palm-Turn (Or however you say that). Cue the plot exposition of Coil's original plan and, more importantly, just what the moonlords are planning. Their goal is to use a great conflict (In other words a war like the one going on right now) and their own abilities as a beacon to call the servant of their gods (The Moon Gods) called the Endless One (Cue 60 HD mooncalf with some additional abilities thrown in.) for a direct audience. Obviously this is a bad thing. If everything goes wrong (Or right depending on how you look at it) their going to end up battling the Endless One themselves to keep it from doing what it will. The upside to this is the lunar conjuction doesn't just signal the Endless One, it's also going to provide lots of beneficial effects for my PC's during it's course. Essentially it'll give them a healthy boost in power for the final conflict.

    Which should and will remain a mystery. Why the moonlords want to commune with the Endless One or what it's arrival might trigger is supposed to be unknowable and divinations will only hint at it at best, flatly refusing to answer at worse.

    _____________________________________-

    So what do you all think? I'm more worried about glaring plot holes at this point in type, like the ones in the over arching plot. The little ones can be handled later.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Crow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    I hate to be a bastard, but I am.

    Can you make a Reader's Digest version of the above?
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    Callos_DeTerran's Avatar

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    I hate to be a bastard, but I am.

    Can you make a Reader's Digest version of the above?
    ....Huh? Don't read Reader's Digest so the request just went right over my head.
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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    ....Huh? Don't read Reader's Digest so the request just went right over my head.
    Condense it to a paragraph or three.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    ... But he's asking readers to check for plot holes. Wouldn't that sorta require, y'know, examining everthing in detail?

    Going over a summary would only help to find any really obvious plot holes.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    i've got the readers diget thing for you.



    There's someone doing some bad in the world.
    Good guys come along saying "Here we come to save the day!"
    Bad guy realizes somethings up and isn't a real bad guy.
    sombody might possibly win somehow.



    ok so i did it in four.

    also, there may be holes in fine detail but that seems like a good outline to me.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    ... But he's asking readers to check for plot holes. Wouldn't that sorta require, y'know, examining everthing in detail?

    Going over a summary would only help to find any really obvious plot holes.
    Well, if he wanted to do both, he could summarize it, then put the full explanation in spoilers beneath each part of the summary.
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    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    I don't see any holes, but you should prepare for the PCs not accepting Coil's about-face, and you should also prepare for the PCs to side with the Moonies.

    EDIT: I say this because there's nothing explicitly evil about them, but there are explicitly evil things about the yuan-ti: kidnapping, murder, warmongering, etc.
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2007-11-02 at 06:44 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    • Why doesn't Coil start with an egg in his territory? Then'd he have a Spawn of Merrshaulk on his side, which presumably would help in his plans.
    • Why doesn't Coil move the egg to a spot that is more hospitable to his plans?
    Last edited by martyboy74; 2007-11-02 at 06:51 PM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Another issue... What if the players don't believe the false trail back to the Yuan-ti homeland. Be prepared for the players to decide that maybe the Yuan-ti homeland is not where the action is, and to try to take coil on earlier.

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    Callos_DeTerran's Avatar

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy74 View Post
    • Why doesn't Coil start with an egg in his territory? Then'd he have a Spawn of Merrshaulk on his side, which presumably would help in his plans.
    The moonlords didn't descend in yuan-ti lands, nor did they travel there to observe any great upheavals since the yuan-ti strike me as a fairly laconic (If thats the right word..) species except when urged on, so I'll be playing them as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy74 View Post
    • Why doesn't Coil move the egg to a spot that is more hospitable to his plans?
    The Egg's are gargantuan or larger size, as are the moonlords. Safely moving one to a more hospitable spot is like putting up a neon sign to adventurers that something might be going on if snake-people are moving something 'cross country. While as if you remain, there is less chance of people even noticing.


    @Marietta: This'd probably only work for my group, but their a highly vengeful bunch. One or two assassination attempts by yuan-ti 'royal assassins' and they'll be chomping at the bit to go find out what the heck their beef is.

    @Fax:...I honestly hadn't thought about that. I'm guessing my guess that if they've beaten Coil before, any they most likely would have, they'll view him as less of a threat compared to a moonlord which they should not have fought. Which I took on good faith that if they found one fighting the other, they'd take the 'weaker' guy's side so they won't have as strong a fight, if any, once the battle is over.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Callos_DeTerran View Post
    The Egg's are gargantuan or larger size, as are the moonlords. Safely moving one to a more hospitable spot is like putting up a neon sign to adventurers that something might be going on if snake-people are moving something 'cross country. While as if you remain, there is less chance of people even noticing.
    A scroll of Teleport Object only costs 2,275 gold. I'm pretty sure that they could scrounge that up.

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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Quote Originally Posted by martyboy74 View Post
    A scroll of Teleport Object only costs 2,275 gold. I'm pretty sure that they could scrounge that up.
    Indeed...but where are they scrounging up the epic caster needed to meet the weight requirement of the spell? (Which is 50 pounds per level)
    Warriors & Wuxia: A community world-building project focused on low-magic wuxia/kung-fu action using ToB.

    "These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex world of jet-powered apes and time travel."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Find the plotholes kiddies!

    Ah. I forgot about that. And Shrink Object, although it would help, also has to deal with a size problem.


    EDIT: What about a pair of scrolls of Gate? Open one of them from directly underneath the egg to the <insert plane here>, and then open one from there to the Yuan-Ti homelands. Admittedly, it is kind of expensive (17650 gp), and the egg is a tight fit (20 diameter portal), but it'd still work.

    Maybe the eggs project a dimensional lock effect?

    By the way, this seems like a really cool campaign.
    Last edited by martyboy74; 2007-11-03 at 11:06 AM.

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