Re: Re: Story Seeds/Scenario Ideas

From: Denethor Hurin <sinherit_at_...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 02:49:29 -0700 (PDT)

> Idea 2: the next reaction to it. "The Bat's coming, and it's all
> *his* fault!" Pick a scapegoat. Any scapegoat. Rationality of choice
> is not required.

[Blinks rapidly several times]

I seem to recall that the Bat was supposed to have been called by Broyan doing a "Summons of Evil"? Did I misremember? If I didn't then the person that would be blamed by the unhappy is obvious and the PCs would have to deal with public unrest against Broyan himself either by persuasion or violence (AKA *effective* persuasion). It might even go to a couple of attempts on his life ("If we kill *him* then the Lunars will know we had nothing to do with him and will leave us alone"). The "There's always another way" crowd might pick this moment to start advocating various forms of surrender that the PCs will have to test their persuasion skills against. If the Red Earth babes are in touch with their fellow Ernaldans on the inside expect a lot of this for the PCs to have to fight.

Possible responses from the government: Broyan would probably give a justified "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it. If you don't want to be here then leave. We neither need nor want the faint of heart. Since there's not that much the Lunars can do to block teleporters from leaving such people would be able to depart along with the noncombatants.

A softer response from Broyan to those he respects but wants to calm might be: "Yes, I know but we're preparing our own magics to deal with it. (I doubt anything as big as the 7 Winds project could be kept entirely under wraps anyway given the number of mages and supporting communities who need to be working on it in the first place so it wouldn't be like he was giving anything away by saying that). That would throw things into the realm of the old Dragon Pass "Magician's Duel" scenario where "anyone who was not a magician fled to the hills and wisely took refuge in temporary atheism". That said, there is 1 scenario that can reasonably be run by the DM *anytime* during the siege: a *lot* of places under siege would fall because someone left an entrance open by accident or by malice. Given the gate daimons would probably prevent accident that leaves malice. That in turns mean an occasional "Catch who's trying to let the Lunars in before he succeeds" scenario, along with the occasional red herring for variation can always be put in use no matter when.

Your mention of Starbrow's Trickster (I wonder if Broyan might have one as well?) brings up another thought. The time to be afraid where a Trickster's concerned isn't when he's out to get you and isn't when he's being irresponsible or stupid. The time to be afraid (And be *very* afraid! ^_^;) is when he's genuinely being helpful, genuinely being coherent and comes to you with an idea that is reasonable and seems the sort of thing that's the reason for which people tolerate Tricksters in the first place. Because that's the time when the Trickster is most likely to inadvertantly lead you down the garden path to disaster.

For example, take the Roganvarth Penterestsson/Rana Riverlocks/Ortossa Maltasdotter triangle. Isn't a situation like that *just* the sort of thing a sane Orlanthi would want to see a Trickster decide to solve on his own? So picture the PCs approached by Elusu (or any other NPC trickster of your choice) with the explanation that the Trickster is acting on orders of Kallyr/Broyan/Whoever the PCs are most likely to listen to (Isn't the "Undetectable Lie" Rune Spell fun? ^_^) and needs the PCs help to execute the chieftain's plan to solve the situation by bringing all 3 together (Technically true. The trickster has decided that if they were all a threesome there'd be no problems) with the PCs job being to get the 3 into particular spots at particular times without any explantion beyond "Kallyr/Broyan/Whoever is operating on a "need to know" basis. I'm the cutout if anything goes wrong. If you don't know what's the plan you can deny responsibility under any Truth spell without repercussion. Of course, Tricksters being the models of foresight that they are the PCs will have to improvise like crazy in the face of the unexpected in the finest romantic farce tradition (How many Orlanthi can we hide in a bedroom?).

(An extra dose of irony might come in the notion that if Rana and Ortossa has just been left to their own devices by everybody they'd have gone out, got plastered together and decided that they were good enough friends that sharing Roganvarth was something they could live with and the Trickster/PC meddling has now caused that to fall apart).

And let's assume the very best. Let's assume the Trickster's social engineering idea works as advertised after some inspired scrambling by the PCs. Our heroes now have 2 potential problems assuming this gets out:

  1. They now have the reputation of being the sort of people who'll go along with a Trickster's ideas in normal Orlanthi society. This might reduce the number of time picnics they get invited to among other things...
  2. Worse then that, even if they avoid #1 by somehow keeping this to themselves and Elusu then, assuming Tricksters talk to other Tricksters, they now have the reputation of being the sort of people who'll go along with a Trickster's idea *among the Tricksters themselves*. Among other things this might be as bad as sending your email addy to a website titled "Spammers R Us!" with a special request for attention by Nigerian Oil Ministers. A moderately evil DM might have fun with that. ^_^

Of course, an *extra* evil DM might confront them upfront with this possible side effect and present them with the moral question of how bad a hit to their reputation and their future careers they're willing to take for the sake of their community and their cause. ^_~

"This is the Tokyo Police Catacylsm Division! Please flee in terror in an orderly manner!" - Fred Gallegher, Megatokyo,                 

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