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View Full Version : Need help with justifying the conditions for a sacrifice.



Sir_Chivalry
2011-02-06, 11:35 AM
Okay, I have a pair of villains looking to sacrifice someone in order to rip open a gate to the Nine Hells. The location of this ritual is fixed, a city the PCs used to frequent until the devil cults overthrew the local government and took control. Now obviously I'm just going to have the ritual work, flavour trumps rules and such, even though it can't be done like that according to the BoVD. I'm just curious for the point of curiousness. Looking through the BoVD, the absolute optimum sacrifice would be someone who:


Is sacrificed in a ceremony lasting at least an hour-- (+1)
Conducted on an altar-- (+2)
In an unhallowed area-- (+2)
In the presense of an emissary of the deity (like a fiend)-- (+2)
Who devours the sacrifice's extremeities before death-- (+1)
In front of more than 100 followers (+2)

The sacrifice must be good-aligned-- (+1)
Pure or virginal-- (+1)
Have 16+ HD or levels-- (+4)
Be a cleric of an opposing god-- (+2)
Be a race the deity despises-- (+1)
Be tortured for 1 day prior the sacrifice-- (+1)
Be genuinely willing to be sacrificed (+3)

So here's my issue, what kind of conditions would lead someone good and pure to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of an evil cult (especially since it also requires torture and loss of extremities)? Also, for those who know a bit about either BoVD or Fiendish Codex II, what race and deity would be despised by Belial and Fierna?

Strawberries
2011-02-06, 11:39 AM
So here's my issue, what kind of conditions would lead someone good and pure to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of an evil cult (especially since it also requires torture and loss of extremities)?

First option: brain-washing? Someone groomed from an extremely young age exactly for this purpose? Children's minds are easy to twist, if you begin when they're young enough. I can believe I wrote that. I feel dirty inside. You have to admit, that gives you bonus creepy points. :smalltongue:

Second option: someone who thinks that if they don't sacrifice themselves, something even more terrible will happen?

Nero24200
2011-02-06, 11:42 AM
Second option: someone who thinks that if they don't sacrifice themselves, something even more terrible will happen?

This sounds like the best idea to me. If the person has allies who would make less suitable sacrifices you could use the threat of them being used instead.

TheGeckoKing
2011-02-06, 11:43 AM
I'd say Hellbred, simply because you can get away with saying they WERE going to be damned, but then the good gods yanked them away before they could be "processed" by Belial/Fierna, P*ssing them off to no end.

As for the reason.......since they're normally LG, they could of traded their life, for the life of a child which would of been used for the sacrifice. Being the worshippers of Devils, I ca't see them going back on the deal, making it believable.

Boci
2011-02-06, 11:44 AM
Hold their loved one's hostage? Devils are lawful evil after all. As for race, how about one of those good outsider racial progressions from Savage Species.

Pika...
2011-02-06, 11:50 AM
Well, throughout real history there have been cultures where sacrifices have been a regular part of life, some of which where the participants are 100% real.

What if the villain infiltrates/is part of such a culture, but secretly (and only the PCs know about it) "taints" the ritual, or say places an artifact under the alter so that instead of garanteeing a good harvest/the sun continues to rise/whatever, the "energy"/whatever is going to your King of Hell?

So basically, you will also have the people trying to stop the PCs from doing their cultural tradition to boot. Paladin conundrum much? :smallbiggrin:

The Glyphstone
2011-02-06, 01:02 PM
Ehhhh...the answer's right in the same book you're drawing the ritual rules from. As a hint, it starts with 'M' and ends with 'indrape'.:smallbiggrin:

Sir_Chivalry
2011-02-06, 07:12 PM
First option: brain-washing? Someone groomed from an extremely young age exactly for this purpose? Children's minds are easy to twist, if you begin when they're young enough. I can believe I wrote that. I feel dirty inside. You have to admit, that gives you bonus creepy points. :smalltongue:

The only issue is that being duped or controlled but otherwise willing produces a smaller yield bonus wise (+1 instead of +3). I can easily get someone duped or controlled, but I'm looking for a pure or virginal good person who, knowing all that will occur because of this, including a painful and prolonged suffering, goes forth to be a sacrifice anyways.


Second option: someone who thinks that if they don't sacrifice themselves, something even more terrible will happen?


This sounds like the best idea to me. If the person has allies who would make less suitable sacrifices you could use the threat of them being used instead.

I think that's coercion, which seems like it would fall under being controlled.


I'd say Hellbred, simply because you can get away with saying they WERE going to be damned, but then the good gods yanked them away before they could be "processed" by Belial/Fierna, P*ssing them off to no end.

Hmm, Hellbred seems like a good one. Any others people can think of?


As for the reason.......since they're normally LG, they could of traded their life, for the life of a child which would of been used for the sacrifice. Being the worshippers of Devils, I ca't see them going back on the deal, making it believable.

That could work, any other ideas?


Hold their loved one's hostage? Devils are lawful evil after all. As for race, how about one of those good outsider racial progressions from Savage Species.

See above about coercion. Only problem is the few good outsiders have 16+ HD, so it would take levels as well.


Well, throughout real history there have been cultures where sacrifices have been a regular part of life, some of which where the participants are 100% real.

What if the villain infiltrates/is part of such a culture, but secretly (and only the PCs know about it) "taints" the ritual, or say places an artifact under the alter so that instead of garanteeing a good harvest/the sun continues to rise/whatever, the "energy"/whatever is going to your King of Hell?

So basically, you will also have the people trying to stop the PCs from doing their cultural tradition to boot. Paladin conundrum much? :smallbiggrin:

Though an awesome idea for an adventure path (using that later!), but unfortunately the location of the ritual is fixed to a city that the PCs lived in until several devil cults drove them out and took over (adding that to OP)


Ehhhh...the answer's right in the same book you're drawing the ritual rules from. As a hint, it starts with 'M' and ends with 'indrape'.:smallbiggrin:

Though a good idea for getting willing sacrifices, but would require a careful tightrope walk. It would need to be very long term (possible with these guys) or else it runs the risk of being more like coercion than genuine willingness.

LansXero
2011-02-06, 07:18 PM
Dying sacrificed this way will send his soul to the lower planes, where he can carry on the fight for his god? He is so devoted than instead of choosing a peaceful afterlife in celestia or whatever he chooses to be sent to hell and keep bashing demons after he dies? :S

ThirdEmperor
2011-02-06, 07:26 PM
Well, seems to me the optimal sacrifice would be a Aasimar High Priest of some good aligned god, captured when the city was taken. As such a person would be ridiculously good, all the evul cultists would have to do was mention that they were planning to sacrifice a child (bonus points if it's his nephew or niece) unless a suitable replacement could be found *hint hint, nudge nudge*, and he'd agree in order to spare others.

faceroll
2011-02-06, 10:16 PM
It just needs to be a cleric of an opposing God. Not a level 16 cleric. You could have an aristocrat15/cleric1 that was raised from birth and groomed to be sacrificed.

Siosilvar
2011-02-06, 10:20 PM
All I can think of off the top of my head is willingly enduring the torture/sacrifice so that others will be inspired (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0547.html).

Asheram
2011-02-06, 10:31 PM
Though a good idea for getting willing sacrifices, but would require a careful tightrope walk. It would need to be very long term (possible with these guys) or else it runs the risk of being more like coercion than genuine willingness.
Gah... I can't believe I'm saying this... this whole thread gives me shivers.
But if you've read the Legend of the Seeker books, there's a sacrifice that goes somewhat like this.
Mindraping the subject into love and fanatical devotion to the one "holding the knife" would do the trick, I believe.

*spits on the ground* Argh, I can't stomach evil!

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-02-06, 10:39 PM
Glibness gives a +30 to bluff checks. Have the evil cult contain a bard with said spell. You can now convince the 16 hd cleric of just about any damn thing, much less that he should be willing, nay - eager, to be the sacrifice and undergo any torture...

Sir_Chivalry
2011-02-06, 10:41 PM
Glibness gives a +30 to bluff checks. Have the evil cult contain a bard with said spell. You can now convince the 16 hd cleric of just about any damn thing, much less that he should be willing, nay - eager, to be the sacrifice and undergo any torture...

That would be duping the subject, which would lessen the yield.

faceroll
2011-02-06, 10:43 PM
That would be duping the subject, which would lessen the yield.

Yeah... you can't reach the theoretical maximum.

Roland St. Jude
2011-02-06, 11:24 PM
Perhaps the sacrifice faithfully believes (or has been assured by the person's deity directly) that the sacrifice serves as the lynchpin in some greater good of a global or universal scale. The sacrificer might not know that or maybe does and is too short sighted to care. But how much cooler would it be if the sacrificer does know that the sacrifice opens to the door for great good but does it anyway and then PCs get to play some role in coming Goodpocalypse.

dark.sun.druid
2011-02-07, 12:49 AM
Perhaps the sacrifice faithfully believes (or has been assured by the person's deity directly) that the sacrifice serves as the lynchpin in some greater good of a global or universal scale. The sacrificer might not know that or maybe does and is too short sighted to care. But how much cooler would it be if the sacrificer does know that the sacrifice opens to the door for great good but does it anyway and then PCs get to play some role in coming Goodpocalypse.

I love this idea! This is the one I would use if I were you. Are your players good- or evil-aligned, for the most part?

Mark Hall
2011-02-07, 01:21 AM
One possibility is to go with an Aslan-type scenario... the person in question believes that such a sacrifice is necessary to set up some other prophecy, or to mobilize the forces of good, or whatever. You don't necessarily need to go with the full allegory that Lewis went with, but they may believe that something ultimately good (like demons being completely sealed from the world for so many hundreds of years... or even permanently) will result from their death.

Telonius
2011-02-07, 06:02 AM
"Hey Minion, could you bring out the kids? Yeah, see, we got this pair of cute kids one from an orphanage, and told them the truth. We're really bad guys, and are going to do some very nasty things to them, and it's going to hurt. A lot. Thing is, apparently those religious lessons your people were giving them really took root, and they have this crazy idea that somebody's going to come rescue them. Either that, or their god's going to welcome them right in since all kids go to Celestia, so whatever we do is okay. So really, it's your pick. You can be part of the sacrifice, and we let the kids go. For real, no weaseling. Or, you can be stubborn, and we'll use the kids in the sacrifice. You can watch, it'll be fun. And you'll know that whatever we do to the kids, we're about to do to you too as soon as the ceremony's done. So what's it gonna be?"

supermonkeyjoe
2011-02-07, 06:38 AM
Maybe the sacrificee is knowingly part of some kind of scheme which requires them to be sacrificed to an evil deity, like their soul has been turned into some kind of holy weapon to weaken/destroy evil god doomdark XIII and just needs to be consumed by him somehow.

Sir_Chivalry
2011-02-07, 08:08 AM
Perhaps the sacrifice faithfully believes (or has been assured by the person's deity directly) that the sacrifice serves as the lynchpin in some greater good of a global or universal scale. The sacrificer might not know that or maybe does and is too short sighted to care. But how much cooler would it be if the sacrificer does know that the sacrifice opens to the door for great good but does it anyway and then PCs get to play some role in coming Goodpocalypse.

this seems like the best idea. My word you are good Mr. St. Jude!

Fireheart
2011-02-07, 11:54 AM
(Stolen from Deeds of Paksennarion by Elizabeth Moon.)

The bad guys have captured LEADER (good, honest, etc.). Paladin (or other level 16 Virginal good thing) who is half-in-love w/ Leader but not quite (and has been a PIA for the bad guys), agrees to sacrifice herself in Trade. Basic agreement, in return for giving herself up - to be tortured and sacrificed as the bad guys see fit, they return the LEADER and agree not to seek him out. The leader also must agree not to send a rescue to the Paladin.

~Fireheart

Sebastrd
2011-02-07, 12:45 PM
{Scrubbed}

big teej
2011-02-07, 05:55 PM
devils are lawful aye?


tacking onto the whole 'convinced something worse can happen'

you find someone (preferably something like a paladin or knight, or LG fighter) something/one that would have protective tendencies

and you threaten who they love.

"offer yourself for this sacrifice, or we'll sacrifice them." that whole sthick.

(3 sacrifices for the price of one aye?)

given that they've OVER THROWN THE GOVERNMENT I'm sure they can find someone protective enough to do this, without pulling an O-Chul and being like "stuff it" to the bad guy.

Dusk Eclipse
2011-02-07, 06:08 PM
Why do you need such a high modifer? the highest yield you could get IIRC (I don't have my BoVD handy ATM) was a miracle and that was with a +50 which is not that hard to get on the K: Religion check... because if you could capture something with 16 or more HD the high priest should be on the same ballpark..

There is also that spell guidance of the avatar that gets you a +20 on your next check.. and I recall a spell that gave you a nat 20 on your dice if you discharged (ruins delver fortune perhaps) so that is a +40 right there without ranks or other misc modifiers.

mootoall
2011-02-07, 06:12 PM
I'm thinking an Aslan type sacrifice maybe?

Callista
2011-02-07, 07:29 PM
Nope, not unless you want it turned against you. Willing, Good-aligned, powerful sacrifices tend to be awfully tricky; and even when they aren't, their deities are usually on their side. It's a dangerous game.

Sacrificing multiple creatures is more effective than making sure one creature is perfect sacrifice. And you get the bonus evil points by making them watch everybody else die...

Knowledge(Religion) check:
+10 ranks
+4 INT bonus
+2 synergy
+20 Guidance of the Avatar
+4 Aid Another from two assistants

+40 total.

Just sacrifice a dozen random victims and you'll get your Wish.

Sir_Chivalry
2011-02-07, 08:22 PM
Why do you need such a high modifer? the highest yield you could get IIRC (I don't have my BoVD handy ATM) was a miracle and that was with a +50 which is not that hard to get on the K: Religion check... because if you could capture something with 16 or more HD the high priest should be on the same ballpark..

There is also that spell guidance of the avatar that gets you a +20 on your next check.. and I recall a spell that gave you a nat 20 on your dice if you discharged (ruins delver fortune perhaps) so that is a +40 right there without ranks or other misc modifiers.


Nope, not unless you want it turned against you. Willing, Good-aligned, powerful sacrifices tend to be awfully tricky; and even when they aren't, their deities are usually on their side. It's a dangerous game.

Sacrificing multiple creatures is more effective than making sure one creature is perfect sacrifice. And you get the bonus evil points by making them watch everybody else die...

Knowledge(Religion) check:
+10 ranks
+4 INT bonus
+2 synergy
+20 Guidance of the Avatar
+4 Aid Another from two assistants

+40 total.

Just sacrifice a dozen random victims and you'll get your Wish.

The point isn't to get a high result, the point is that the idea intrigued me. I'm looking for ways to make it work.