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Old 12-17-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
joppeknol
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default Banestorm Campaign/Adventure Seeds & Questions (WARNING: contains yrth Spoilers)

Hello,

I'm currently preparing my first GURPS campaign. It will be a yrth campain based up on the 'secrets' in the megalos section of the Banestorm book. It will take some time before I'll really start (our group is currently playing with another member as GM), but I'm trying to plan ahead as much as possible. The group is used to free form characters and normally play in a bit humorous style.


Warning Spoilers ahead. Do not read further if you're planning to play as a PC on yrth and have not read GURPS Banestorm yet


The idea is that the emperor is moving to create a portal between his original dimension and yrth. He can then move all his collegues to yrth very fast and destroy the world (as is the expected behavior of a well-educated demon).

Therefore he needs three magical things.
1) The skull of cuthumulhu: This demon, a collegue, was slain a few hundres years ago with a silver sword that negated his regenerative abilities in the northlands and put in a tomb sealed with silver. Unfortunately a group of giants opened the tomb and are now slowly being corrupted by the power of the skull. The skull is needed to connect to the right hell dimension.

2) The chain of thracie. This chain is used to keep a gate to another world open. It is not from this world, but currently used by Glimpse of Falling Leaves to connect to a 2005-no mana modern earth in order to grab technology to get supreme power in Sahud.

3) The banestorm 'garland'. A kind of a golden circle with scultured leaves. It was used by the dark elves, to fuel the spell that started the banestorm. It is a ako super powerstone with the limitation that all stored energy must be used in one spell (e.g. use it to throw a fireball and now you have to throw a 4000fp fireball.). There is now way of telling how much energy is contained in it. It is somewhere in the ruins of an old elven city in the great desert and guarded by a cult of fanatic dark elves.

If the emperor gets these things, he will need some time to prepare a ceremony. He will then do a ceremony in some collosseum in order to get as much energy as possible. This will create the gate. During the ceremony his disguise is thin and might be penetrated by the right spell.

How to obtain these things: You take some unknown adventurers, give the a magical object-finder device, and send them on their way.

PC's are (unspecified) 150 cp Caithness people with a loyalty to king Conall. After some adventuring in the civil war, they are too well-known and hated by the opposition and Conall gives them the mission of going to Megalos City and find out what is happening there.

This is my ground idea. I 'm working on a set of encounters and adventures to keep everybody busy during traveling. I would like to ask the following questions.
  • Any ideas on how to improve the plot? How does the banestorm garland work in game mechanics? How powerful should it be?
  • Any ideas for further adventure details?
  • Most important: Why do the PC's carry out these assignments after they find out how powerful these items are (especially the third). My best idea is to have them contacted by Jordan Siegebreaker who also sees it as an opportunity to unmask the emperor .

Thanks in advance,

Joppeknol
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:17 PM   #2
Gold & Appel Inc
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Re: Banestorm Campaign/Adventure Seeds & Questions (WARNING: contains yrth Spoilers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Hello,
Hey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
I'm currently preparing my first GURPS campaign. It will be a yrth campain based up on the 'secrets' in the megalos section of the Banestorm book. It will take some time before I'll really start (our group is currently playing with another member as GM), but I'm trying to plan ahead as much as possible.
With you so far. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
The group is used to free form characters and normally play in a bit humorous style.
I'm going to refer back to this part later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
The idea is that the emperor is moving to create a portal between his original dimension and yrth. He can then move all his collegues to yrth very fast and destroy the world (as is the expected behavior of a well-educated demon).
So this guy with a demonstrated interest in gathering and having power over people in a fairly organized fashion just suddenly gets a wild hair up his butt to scrap it all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
1) The skull of cuthumulhu: This demon, a collegue, was slain a few hundres years ago with a silver sword that negated his regenerative abilities in the northlands and put in a tomb sealed with silver. Unfortunately a group of giants opened the tomb and are now slowly being corrupted by the power of the skull. The skull is needed to connect to the right hell dimension.
Everything about this part is awesome. I'd like my C'thulhu cultists bigger, please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
2) The chain of thracie. This chain is used to keep a gate to another world open. It is not from this world, but currently used by Glimpse of Falling Leaves to connect to a 2005-no mana modern earth in order to grab technology to get supreme power in Sahud.
Wait, what? GOFL has the bomb now? Nerve gas? This is going to spill way past Sahud and change the setting a lot...

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
3) The banestorm 'garland'. A kind of a golden circle with scultured leaves. It was used by the dark elves, to fuel the spell that started the banestorm. It is a ako super powerstone with the limitation that all stored energy must be used in one spell (e.g. use it to throw a fireball and now you have to throw a 4000fp fireball.). There is now way of telling how much energy is contained in it. It is somewhere in the ruins of an old elven city in the great desert and guarded by a cult of fanatic dark elves.
This part feels kind of DFy.. Wouldn't the Dark Elves put a limiting enchantment on something that powerful that makes it usable by Elves only? And why just guard it, instead of try to use it for something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
How to obtain these things: You take some unknown adventurers, give the a magical object-finder device, and send them on their way.
If the stakes are that high, why not get the greatest heroes of the realm to do this? (They can still be 150 points, if most people have less)

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
PC's are (unspecified) 150 cp Caithness people with a loyalty to king Conall. After some adventuring in the civil war, they are too well-known and hated by the opposition and Conall gives them the mission of going to Megalos City and find out what is happening there.
Here we go, if these guys are loyal citizens of Caithness with a vested interest in the current status quo, you can easily scale back the antagonist goal from "Destroy the World!" to "Conquer the world (under the banner of Megalos)..." At first they think that the Emperor is on his McGuffin quest for normal power-lusty reasons like conquering Caithness, and then later they discover the ultimate horrible truth. That is, of course, assuming that your players go for your proposed set-up. Didn't you say that they like free-form characters with a bit of a humorous style earlier?

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
[*]Most important: Why do the PC's carry out these assignments
If these guys don't like railroading, we can't really give you good advice for how to railroad them.

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
after they find out how powerful these items are (especially the third). My best idea is to have them contacted by Jordan Siegebreaker who also sees it as an opportunity to unmask the emperor.
If the item isn't magically locked to Dark Elves, maybe it can only be used under certain very limited conditions ("When the stars are right"), which would explain why it hasn't been used already if its location is known.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:48 PM   #3
capnq
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pittsburgh PA USA
Default Re: Banestorm Campaign/Adventure Seeds & Questions (WARNING: contains yrth Spoilers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joppeknol
The banestorm 'garland'. A kind of a golden circle with scultured leaves. It was used by the dark elves, to fuel the spell that started the banestorm. It is a ako super powerstone with the limitation that all stored energy must be used in one spell (e.g. use it to throw a fireball and now you have to throw a 4000fp fireball.). There is now way of telling how much energy is contained in it. It is somewhere in the ruins of an old elven city in the great desert and guarded by a cult of fanatic dark elves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc
Wouldn't the Dark Elves put a limiting enchantment on something that powerful that makes it usable by Elves only? And why just guard it, instead of try to use it for something?
If the bane spell had succeeded, there wouldn't be any non-elves left to try to use it. (I'm assuming that the garland itself was created for the purpose of casting the bane.)

The cult was founded by a Dark Elf who survived the backfire because he couldn't take part in the ceremony due to being a Mana Damper; having that Advantage is one of the requirements for being a priest of the cult.
Quote:
If the stakes are that high, why not get the greatest heroes of the realm to do this?
The demon wants a group of talented nobodies to retrieve the items, to make sure he can still easily take the items from them should they decide to keep them for themselves. The "greatest" heroes might be a problem; the PCs are, in the demon's estimation, "just good enough" to retrieve the items, and wont attract undue attention by their mere presence in the area.
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When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. -- Mark Twain
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:00 AM   #4
joppeknol
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Default Re: Banestorm Campaign/Adventure Seeds & Questions (WARNING: contains yrth Spoilers)

Thanks for the suggestions and constructive criticism so far.

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post


Wait, what? GOFL has the bomb now? Nerve gas? This is going to spill way past Sahud and change the setting a lot...
I agree that it shouldn't go that far. Glimpse doesn't have an army yet, but she's trying to assemble one. Let's say 10 soldiers are already recruited. If the PC's should fail, she'll probably be stopped by the Powers that Be. If the PC's manage to salvage high TL equipment from her, they'll be 'kindly requested' to have it destroyed.

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
This part feels kind of DFy.. Wouldn't the Dark Elves put a limiting enchantment on something that powerful that makes it usable by Elves only? And why just guard it, instead of try to use it for something?
1. The garland is in the middle of the no-mana desert, so it can't be used there.2. It is massive gold and fairly big.(1.5-2 meters) so it could weigh 500 kg or so. It is cool but not very practical without your own army to defend it. It always empties itself on the spell with which it is used. You can use it to kill army 1 with a big fireball, but then you have to wait while it recharges and have to fight army 2 for yourself. I like the restrictions of 'when the moon is right' or something like that. It will also explain why the emperor will not immediately start doing his thing and gives the PC's some time to prepare something against it.

It was indeed used for the banestorm, so I also assume that even the dark elves have some reservations about using it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
If the stakes are that high, why not get the greatest heroes of the realm to do this? (They can still be 150 points, if most people have less)
I think capnQ argued this very well. Thanks. Of course, the emperor does not want his own people to know about this quest because it might reveal his true identity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Here we go, if these guys are loyal citizens of Caithness with a vested interest in the current status quo, you can easily scale back the antagonist goal from "Destroy the World!" to "Conquer the world (under the banner of Megalos)..." At first they think that the Emperor is on his McGuffin quest for normal power-lusty reasons like conquering Caithness, and then later they discover the ultimate horrible truth. That is, of course, assuming that your players go for your proposed set-up. Didn't you say that they like free-form characters with a bit of a humorous style earlier?
During the first assignments the goals of the emperor are not very clear and the PC's can have a free-form assignment to infiltrate in the megalos high-society as much as possible to find out what's going on. Carrying out these assignments seems a good way to earn the emperor's trust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
If these guys don't like railroading, we can't really give you good advice for how to railroad them.
I don't think that's a problem. The problem is that it doesn't make sense to give the emperor what he wants if you've found out that he will try to destroy the world with it. No railroading, besides plain taking over will help this. Unless........
  1. You know that he will be vulnerable during or just before the final ceremony and you want to take advantage of it in order to get rid of him.
  2. You know that if you don't carry out this assignment some other group will.
  3. You have decided not to do it, but some other group is already on their way.
  4. You/ your dependents will be killed for sure if the emperor finds out you're not cooperating.
  5. Something else I have not thought of, but makes more sense in combination with one of reasons above.
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