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PaganMegan

Eberron Game! No Auld Grumpies Allowed!

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This thread is giving me all the GM feels. :)

 

Rather than quoting everything, I'll try to simply answer/respond best I can. 

 

First off: Having too much material just means you've become a GM!  :)  Heck, I have entire campaign settings I've fleshed out that I've never gotten a chance to play in because of life getting in the way (something about having to actually spend much of the week away from home and gaming friends in order to put food and the table and a roof over me head). That said, one of the things you can do with all these extra ideas is rather than simply eliminate them, plant the seeds of many of them into your campaign and let the players decide which ones to pursue. Perhaps they are more interested in tracking down Eberron's version of Jack the Ripper than going on a wild goose chase to recover the Macguffin. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The only thing you do as a GM is continue to progress the story lines in the background. So if they don't pursue the killer, more bodies continue to drop, maybe even including someone whose death is going to complicate things for the PCs. Likewise, the BBEG doesn't just sit around and wait for the PCs to decide to try to stop her agenda, rather she continues to progress along it, etc. What this does is allow you to have each of those ideas (or at least a number of them) spread out in your campaign, but doesn't require you to fully flesh them all out ahead of time. Rather, a mere outline should work -- and keep in mind even the outline needs to be flexible.

 

Drake Argent is a perfect name for a dragon disguising herself as a human, elf, whatever.

 

Also, nothing wrong with having the players encounter the dragon early on -- it just might be that said dragon is in human form and not interested in fighting (the PCs are not worth her time -- yet). So if the PCs do suspect something is up with the "dragon", if they attempt to confront her, the dragon merely waves and activates some form of magic to get away. Think Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter movies when he shapeshifted into a mouse to get away. The players still won't know she's a dragon, but will see that there's more to her than meets the eye.

 

If you are concerned with say a paladin constantly detecting evil, there are a couple of options available. One, as someone mentioned, a dragon would certainly have access to non-detection items/spells so it simply doesn't trigger when the pally uses detect evil. Secondly, you can discourage over use of this ability by pointing out that a lot of people in the world are really just in it for themselves and as a result may well detect as evil, even if they don't have designs to take over the world. Your local tavern for instance is likely to have a number of patrons that detect as "evil". Plus, keep in mind that if you ask an alignment question of 10 people, you'll likely get 15 answers. :)

 

As for your flashback, I love it! Are you sure you're new to GM'ing?  :) I love that you have the PC group going in to pick up the pieces of the first group, the handler, etc. It sounds like a great way to kick off a campaign. One idea that crossed my mind though: for the flashback scene, have your players play as the first group. This lets you kill them without mercy and doesn't cause issues if one of the "PC's" dies in the flashback. In fact, you don't even need to make it fair since its a flashback. They are supposed to die! Instead, you can have the last survivor, as he or she is fading into unconsciousness, see the PCs coming in the distance, and manages to hold out just long enough to get the image of each of the PCs arriving before he or she dies. The nightmares of the PCs then become the horrors and destruction that they witnessed upon arriving. You can even then cue the monologue and describe how the PCs were able to fight off whatever caused the death of the first group -- maybe even causing some of their Class abilities to start to manifest. The only real downside to this approach is that it likely requires you to create the character sheets for the first group and then hand them out to the players, but since you don't need fully fledged PCs, they can be created pretty quickly. That's just an idea though, obviously nothing wrong with what you had set out either.

 

 

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Expanding the flashback quite a bit, maybe make it the first two sessions.

 

Have the players going in when the first wave of whatever the hell is going on finishes, to retrieve the first team.

 

In my head it is a bit like that Polish first person shooter from a way back. Stalker, I think.

 

Lots of mist, poor vision, and THINGS in the mist. With tentacles. LOTS of tentacles!

 

That first team will be very very dead, and it will be like summer. Summer here, summer over there, and summer just plain GONE. That's them, all over.

 

And the guy that the spook was sending them to retrieve has been replaced by Peter Lorre. And WASN'T there when whatever happened happened. The actual guy was already dead by the time the first team even started.

 

The spook has already been out-spooked!

 

Not quite mybfirst time running s game, but my first time solo. Grump and I have run Airship Pirates together.

 

Grump is big on things not being what they seem to be, it will be fun to turn the tables! :devil:

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As for the detect evil, I already have that covered!

 

Any world that has big business will have places to meet where scrying and detection are prevented, just as part of the service.

 

So the bathhouse, the chocolatier, the hotels, and the cafes will all already have the wardings in place.

 

And will ADVERTISE the fact!

 

With work, I think I can make the players think it is for THEIR protection! :lol:

 

The Fire really does not like the word WARDINGS and keeps changing it.

Does one of the Dragonmark Houses cover things like security?

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20 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

The Dark Young were all in a line, with wisps of cotton in front of them.

 

I think she was visualizing something.

 

The Auld Grump

He's onto me!

 

That was when I was picturing the boundary to the newly created Mournlands.

 

Quoted from the Off Topic thread.

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Kundarak is the big "keep your stuff safe" House. But Deneith has a stake in personal security that I could see extending that way, too. An entertainment establishment held by Thuranni or Phiarlan might also have such obfuscatory enchantments in place, the better to serve as a bolt-hole or safehouse (especially if the place isn't ADVERTISED as belonging to the House).

 

But your best bet might be Ghallanda, the house of hospitality. They have their own chain of inns and taverns (can't recall the name, but it's well known throughout Khorvaire) and I could see a room or even a whole building under that brand having such enchantments, "as a courtesy to our honored guests."

 

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Ghallanda also maintains a system of Zagat-style ratings and licensing for inns and restaurants, as well as health inspections and the like. So, although an inn might not be OWNED by Ghallanda, if they are reputable they have the Ghallanda seal. Someplace without Ghallanda's mark is either way out in the boonies or a total dive (or so says common wisdom...it is possible for a great restaurant to exist without the House seal, but the House doesn't want that to happen often. It would be thoroughly unsurprising if Ghallanda ensured--through intermediaries, of course--that such establishments fell victim to fire, "protection" or frequent tavern brawls).

 

By a similar token, Phiarlan or Thuranni might do a lot to indirectly ensure an otherwise unrelated business had anti-divinatory abjuration on hand. Perhaps the House drove a propaganda campaign to make a specific salon especially popular with Medusae, Vampires and Green Hags, all of whom would request such a service just to protect their own privacy. Such a salon would be dangerous for anyone walking through the door, but quite safe from prying or scrying eyes...which makes it perfect for spies.

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And thinking about it that way, it wouldn't need to be Phiarlan or Thuranni running the shadow campaign to make that salon a monster-frequented safe space for spies. The Brelish Dark Lanterns and the Aundairi...um...I forget the name of the Aundair Intelligence service...anyway, those two nations have the most extensive spy networks, and they're a bit more open about it. The two spy/assassin Houses aren't commonly known as Intelligencers, they're known as entertainers. But everyone knows the Dark Lanterns exist, even if they aren't out in the open (similar to the CIA...it's a known organization, but what it actually does at any given moment is secret).

 

 

(that monster salon is another big only-in-Eberron trigger: Sharn, especially, is rife with monstrous citizens. Totally normal to walk past a gang of gnolls being watched by a small tribe of displaced goblins, and if you're quick, you'll see both groups are being sized up by a bodak and his pet basilisk from that stoop over there. Sharn is like Ankh-Morpork played straight.)

Edited by Sanael
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So, places bearing the marks of BOTH Kundarak and Ghallanda would be the places for sensitive business to take place, if you were trying to keep an image of being above board?

Where could we find minis for warforged?

We have the Bones figure, and the Tin Woodsman steampunk figure, but more would be good.

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9 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

So, places bearing the marks of BOTH Kundarak and Ghallanda would be the places for sensitive business to take place, if you were trying to keep an image of being above board?

If you wanted it to be clear that you were scheduling a meeting in a secure, neutral space, that would certainly do it. 

 

Ghallanda's seal would enforce a certain behavior ( the House does employ bouncers and the like to ensure civility), but has no guarantee of safety from prying eyes (such safety might exist, but isn't expected of a Ghallanda tavern*).

 

Kundarak's seal would imply lots of privacy, but little comfort (their major ouvre is banks and prisons). And most people would know, if you're scheduling a meeting in a Kundarak establishment, it's because you WANT that privacy.

 

I imagine a place with both seals might be like a really nice bank with a French cafe in the lobby.

 

 

 

*As with all such statements, this ends with an implicit, "if that's how you want it to be."

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Kundarak also has The Warding Guild, which would handle places.

 

And maybe have a few places like Rick's in Casablanca. Places where people know it's protected and NEUTRAL. Come here to talk, not settle things in blood.

 

Rick as a big old Warforged?

Designated Neutral Ground.

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 The DDM prepaints had a number of warforged (7? maybe?), although they're all basically melee fighters except for an artificer.

 

Reaper has a number of Bones that make great warforged...

 

One thing I've always done with folks trying to use detect evil as a bad-guy detector is to simply have everybody in the whole damn building ping as evil if the party's in a place where that sort of thing would be appropriate, or funny (tavern, bank, government office, orphanage, etc.)...

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I never much liked the DDM figures, even when I could get them cheap at Border's.

 

Though what a train wreck the DDM became during 4e.

 

Sales dropped like a rock.

 

All the hype and then SPLAT!

 

Even when the BOOKS were moving, the miniatures just sat there.

 

Even when they started showing the BIG miniature in the box. People would buy the one or two that had a big fig that they wanted, and they ALL wanted the SAME one or two!

Back to the Fire.

 

The living room is infested with little people!

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