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Kol Korran
2013-02-10, 11:19 AM
Edit: I don't come up with these kind of ideas on a usual basis, and I don't try and torture/ maim/ make the lives of my players miserable. the situation suggested in the thread is a deviation from the norm for my group, which I'm trying to decide whether it's fun or not.
---------------------------------------------------
I've been having an idea running through my mind lately, and would value your opinions. I'm a bit worried if it might be too much, and how to best implement it in play. In a future campaign I plan to run, gnolls will be a major force in the wild lands. I want to play to their savagery, their brutality, and one of the ideas that contribute to this concept is The Hunt.

Some music to get us in the mood... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88SOwK7Ocsk) :smallwink:

Gnolls usually hunt for food, or fight of intruders, but at times they see a worthy/ interesting prey, (which can be beasts, but also sentient humanoids) and decide to make a special game of it, a special hunt. they will test their surviving skills, fighting skills, resilience and more as they harass and prey on them for some time, until they decide to launch a final assault. only they don't just kill the prey, they capture it. what follows is what this thread is about.

due to a suggestion mentioned on this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267499), I'd like to make a central part of gnoll culture the custom of harvesting the organs of your (worthy) fallen prey, either to eat and grow your spiritual power, or to preserve as fetishes and symbols of status, sort of "spiritual souvenirs" of the hunt. but they do this while the prey is... alive and awake. (through use of herbalism and perhaps some simple magic. an adept accompanies most hunting groups) why? for two reasons:
1- Gnolls religion (in this campaign, drawing on the Mockery and Devourer from Eberron) highly values pain, suffering and torment. by making their worthy prey suffer and scream and howl, they give the highest sacrifice to their gods.
2- this is also a test for the worthy prey. if the subject doesn't feint, if the subject doesn't die and actually live through the process (the gnolls may take only organs that though might main the prey, will still enable him to live) he might gain great honor from the gnoll group, patched up (minus organs), and sent free. in cases where the gnolls hunt groups, one of the group will be forced to endure the ordeal, if s/he passes, the rest of the group lives. if not- they perish due to his/ her "weakness".

So there is some possibility that at some point the PCs might be hunted, captured, and one of them tortured and have some organs removed, perhaps meeting his death. I DO think this will serve the purpose of fixing the cruelty of gnolls in the players' minds, but I have a few issues:

1) Might this be too much? will you as a player continue to play with a character that have went such a horrific ordeal? I think it might be a great roleplay opportunity, but I know people's opinions may differ than mine, and some people just don't like bad things happening to their characters.

2) how to make the encounte,r the torture more unique? I'm a med student at a surgery rotation, so I can describe things (or even bring pictures, but that WILL be too much) quite nicely, but I want the player to have a decent way to express him/herself in this. A coversation with the gnoll with scalpel while s/he cuts into her? a test of will spirit? ideals? values?

also, how to implement the test in mechanical terms? I want it to be more than a few fort/ will save to avoid dying and/ or losing their minds/ blacking out. I want the player's own resilience and determination to have a say in this.

3) supposing the PC survives this, how does it affect her? S/he will gain quite a bonus to dealing with gnolls socially i'd assume (which might be interesting since s/he will probably just want to kill them all). but how does it affects the person physically? I don't want normal healing magic to work (no "cure" spells) but regeneration at minimum. probably some penalties to either Con or some other stuff.

but this needs compensating of some sort to the player (considering that the way most gnoll hunts are set the prey doesn't have a lot of a chance to break free really) some special "campaign feat"? such as special bonuses against gnolls, or immunity to fear (they've been through the worst) or something else? your thoughts?

4) minor issue, but i'd still like opinions- should devouring an organ (maybe joined with a special ritual) or carrying some sort of an organ fetish grant any bonus to the gnoll? can these be actual sort of minor- medium magical items known to be used by gnolls? intriguing thoughts, and an interesting concept for magic items, perhaps as gifts from gnolls when the time comes... :smallamused:

thanks for reading, hoping you'll respond. looking forward to your ideas!

Grinner
2013-02-10, 11:37 AM
1. Yes. Gloriously so!
2. Perhaps a battle of wills in the spirit realm with the tribe's shaman?
3. Realistically speaking? Death. But you already know that. :smalltongue:

Immunity to fear with Con drain sounds appropriate.
4. I wouldn't worry about it.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-10, 11:47 AM
1: Yes, but the fact that you're even considering this means that your players must be much, much more hardcore than average, so I'll trust that you know them best.

One bit of advice- let one of the players volunteer, and make it clear that their chances of survival will *not* be tied to CON- or, at least, give them a variety of options for what stat or skill is test (Straight damage rolls vs. HP, fortitude or will saves, concentration/bluff skills...)

My reasoning for such is this: You're right, some players would not want bad things happening to their character. If you give them the chance to volunteer, though, presumably whichever player is most okay with it will step forward - unless the chances of success are tied to a specific stat. If that's the case, the dynamic won't be "Who wants to do this?" but "Who has the best score in that stat?" - so, you may end up getting the party barbarian equivalent shanghaied into the roll, while the Wizard's player is the one actually okay with it.

2: It sounds plenty unique as is. If you're a real sadist (Which, let's face it, you clearly are), make the player lay on their back while you describe it.

3: Social bonuses with gnoll are probably a side effect, but they may not make that good a reward - one of the more likely responses is "When I recover this, I will skin every gnoll I see.", an attitude which would make the ability to get along with them kinda moot. Honestly, I wouldn't go with any feat - I'd just give that player a truckload of roleplay XP. That way, you don't run the risk of putting them through that, and then getting a pre-determined feat that's useless to their character build.

You might also give them "Favored Enemy: Gnoll". Or "Favored Enemy: Doctor." Either works, really.

As far as penalties go, I'd write it off as some CON damage.

4: I'd do this through the Gnoll's gods - give them the benefits of some sort of blessing, upon consumption.

Kornaki
2013-02-10, 01:57 PM
If it's a religious ceremony you could let them cast spells from the gnoll god's domains (details tbd based on balance) as a divine reward for surviving

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-10, 09:34 PM
I'd suggest that, on the off-chance they survive, the gnolls slice up some cowardly gnoll (Should be one or two on hand), extract whatever they just removed from the PC, and replace the human (or elvish or whatever) organs with gnoll organs. Alternately have some particularly courageous gnoll agree to an organ swamp with the PCs. Either way, this means that the PCs now smell different and can be recognized by any gnoll anywhere. Further, the tale of their survival will be spread through all the gnoll tribes, leading to females wanting to mate with them (PLEASE write up their reactions to this! :smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin:) and warriors deferring to them. Also, they should gain the ability to speak gnoll and maybe some other gnoll racial traits.

Kol Korran
2013-02-11, 02:55 AM
Ok, it seems I may have sent the wrong vibe here. I don't design situations like these for the regular play of the party, our game is often much more mild and care free. which is why I thought such an encounter might be an interesting shift, and a memorable one. I was wondering if people might enjoy it or not. I edited the first post to reflect this. On the whole, i'm considered a challenging DM, but not a cruel one.



2. Perhaps a battle of wills in the spirit realm with the tribe's shaman?
3. Realistically speaking? Death. But you already know that. :smalltongue:

a spiritual battle might be quite cool? partly the character feels the earthly suffering of the flesh, while s/he try to match spirit with the shaman? sounds like this could hold a lot of potential. a sort of "can you transcend pain?" (like that test from Dune which measured if you are a beast or a human being). I like this!

oh, and a person can live without "some" organs (one kidney, liver lobe, part of the intestine, gonads and so on).


1. Yes. Gloriously so!


1: Yes, but the fact that you're even considering this means that your players must be much, much more hardcore than average, so I'll trust that you know them best.
the two responses confuse me- yes, it is too much? or yes, you'll continue to play? my assumption is the former. actually, my players are not that hardcore, (except mine who is a very hardcore roleplayer) but we play and dabble. Neither am I as a DM. this is a sort of a new venture for me. I reasoned that for the gnolls' savagery to become something more real for the players, that it:
a) transcend the normal roleplay experiences so far.
b) be quite personal, and not easily reversed.

<great ideas about the choosing of the participant in the scene>
You make some very important points. I'll go by them. thanks!


2: It sounds plenty unique as is. If you're a real sadist (Which, let's face it, you clearly are), make the player lay on their back while you describe it.
i'm far from a sadist. this encounter makes me a bit unconfortable, but isn't part of roleplay supposed to take you out of your comfort zone? some of us try to challenge ourselves this way.

oh, and the idea to lie on the back? I actually think it might be an awesome enhancer to the experience! but debating with myself how far should I really go with this?



Alternately have some particularly courageous gnoll agree to an organ swamp with the PCs. Either way, this means that the PCs now smell different and can be recognized by any gnoll anywhere. Further, the tale of their survival will be spread through all the gnoll tribes, leading to females wanting to mate with them (PLEASE write up their reactions to this! :smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin:) and warriors deferring to them. Also, they should gain the ability to speak gnoll and maybe some other gnoll racial traits.
This is an interesting idea, which might add the "I have part of them inside me! Am I part gnoll?" concept to the mix, which might be quite interesting. The gnoll society is led by females (like hyenas in the wild) and I'm unsure of how... attraction might go, but it'll be something to think about. the rest of the stuff is more cultural, less biological, but I'll think about it as well. interesting idea... :smallamused:

any more thoughts?

Chilingsworth
2013-02-11, 07:09 AM
Well, you might have the effects differ depending on which organs are removed, example:

Gonads: sterility
Liver Lobe: Con damage (liver lobes grow back, right? So, would the effect really be permenant?)
Lung, Kidney: Con Drain (those organs don't grow back, afterall.)
Section of brain: mental stat damage (or more likely, drain)
Muscle Tissue: strength/dex damage/drain.

(If you do go with the gnoll transplant idea, you could apply the penalty, then give them a bonus once the penalty is healed.)
Example benefits:
Gonands... umm... none?, probably not a good idea to exchange these.
Liver Lobe: Bonus on saves vs posion, con boost?
Lung: Allow them to hold their breath longer, bonus on endurance checks, con boost?
Kidney: Another save boost vs posion, maybe a con boost?
Muscle Tissue: strength/dex boost, speed increase?
Brain Tissue: penalty to int and bonus to wisdom?

Also, may I offer this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTI0D7jdUk) for inspiration? (Before clicking that link, be mindful of what I'm offering inspiration for. If, having done that, anyone expects a cute kitty video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8)... well, he/she/it probably deserves whatever trauma they get.:smallbiggrin:)

Lastly, if you are going to do this, go whole hog- If you have pictures (or better, video)- use it.

Afterall, impressions are rarely made effectively by half measures.:smallamused:

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-11, 07:57 AM
I meant "Yes, it would be too much" - i.e., it's not something I would feel comfortable doing with a "Normal" group of players. If it happened in a game I was involved in... it would depend on my character.

My final ruling would be to go ahead with it, but have some sort of a mechanism by which you could back out of it, if it was clear the players wren't into it.

Bryn
2013-02-11, 02:14 PM
1) Might this be too much? will you as a player continue to play with a character that have went such a horrific ordeal? I think it might be a great roleplay opportunity, but I know people's opinions may differ than mine, and some people just don't like bad things happening to their characters.

2) how to make the encounte,r the torture more unique? I'm a med student at a surgery rotation, so I can describe things (or even bring pictures, but that WILL be too much) quite nicely, but I want the player to have a decent way to express him/herself in this. A coversation with the gnoll with scalpel while s/he cuts into her? a test of will spirit? ideals? values?
If you don't know whether your players would be comfortable with something in a game, and you have reason to think they might not be, then ask them first. You don't have to reveal your full plans for what the gnolls will do to discuss the potential increase in gore/horror content.

I would be very uncomfortable if a GM started a detailed interactive description of torture without warning, and I suspect many people would feel similarly. I'd definitely rather be asked first, especially since I wouldn't necessarily say 'yes'.

i'm far from a sadist. this encounter makes me a bit unconfortable, but isn't part of roleplay supposed to take you out of your comfort zone? some of us try to challenge ourselves this way.

oh, and the idea to lie on the back? I actually think it might be an awesome enhancer to the experience! but debating with myself how far should I really go with this?
Regarding "taking you out of your comfort zone", I don't think imagining a torture fantasy a character being tortured in detail brings a good "challenging my prejudices" sort of discomfort. In any case, playing an RPG is not "supposed" to do anything except whatever you and your players wanted when you agreed to play. If your players don't want to consider grimdark content and torture, don't go there.

I'm being pretty negative about this, and it might be something the other players are interested in dealing with, but you can't know without asking them directly. I feel that having such a discussion midway through the scene would be rather too late.

This article (http://www.gamingaswomen.com/posts/2012/06/addressing-rape-in-your-game/) is about addressing rape in a game rather than torture and eating of a character's organs, but I feel the principles it advocates apply in this case too.

Discuss It in Advance
Maybe you havenít decided yet that rape is going to be something that comes up in game or maybe youíve already got some story ideas. The worst time to bring rape to the table is on the fly. Remember that whole empathy thing? You canít be empathetic without listening to people beforehand because you wonít know how itíll affect them when you spring it on them.

I like to bring up potentially triggering topics up during character creation because you never know whatís going to show up in character backgrounds. A good place to start the conversation is a simple, ďOh, hey, so I think rape is an okay topic to explore in this game but I wanted your feedback on where weíre comfortable going with it.Ē Itís worthwhile to talk about where you emphatically donít want to go (violent rape, rape of children or incest, for instance), as this sets clear boundaries while still giving room for exploration. Itís also important to discuss upfront ideas that you think might show up (like date rape, sexual coercion or forced prostitution). This allows players to decide if theyíre interested in what you have in mind and it may also remind them of other things they explicitly donít want to see.

Itís also important to discuss not only what will be addressed but how itíll be addressed. Ever run into a situation that made you uncomfortable and you cracked a joke to try to relieve the tension? Itís possible that a rape joke in the face of rape occurring in the game fiction will make others feel even more uncomfortable than they already are. Take the time to discuss how to best relieve tension in a way that wonít offend or hurt others at the game table. For instance, you might decide to just fade to black whenever rape happens in the game fiction or maybe you can have a safeword that means ďOkay, this is too intense Ė we need to back off for a few minutes.Ē Remember that if you come to an agreement, itís important to respect anyone who chooses to use whatever you agreed on.

Keep in mind: the whole point of a game is to enjoy yourselves. If anyone says, ďI donít think Iíd have fun if X came up,Ē then thatís good enough reason not to explore it.

I also feel that the mechanical consequences are something that would be best discussed and agreed with the players, assuming they are interested in going in this direction.

Dr Bwaa
2013-02-11, 02:35 PM
Big agreement with Bryn. The only voices that really matter here are those of your players. Bring it up with them (generalize, obviously--no need to throw down your whole plot at their feet) to see if they're okay with that kind of thing coming up in a game. Personally I don't think "fun" is the right word (:smalltongue:), but I do know that I'd say "yes" if I were in your group. It sounds like a great RP opportunity.

hymer
2013-02-11, 02:42 PM
It might be worth mentioning that you can keep the "hunting for organs" to keep your gnolls distinctive without going into anything like this detail about it - in case you find out the players aren't really comfortable with it.

Synovia
2013-02-11, 04:05 PM
I meant "Yes, it would be too much" - i.e., it's not something I would feel comfortable doing with a "Normal" group of players. If it happened in a game I was involved in... it would depend on my character.

My final ruling would be to go ahead with it, but have some sort of a mechanism by which you could back out of it, if it was clear the players wren't into it.

I'm surprised how squeamish some people are.

I don't see anything wrong with this scenario at all. Much worse things happen in your average D&D game. Getting an organ stolen isn't nearly as bad as the BBEG burning villages and such.


Frankly, I think its creative, interesting, and would be a great change of pace.




torture fantasy


I don't see anything suggesting torture fantasy here.

Bryn
2013-02-11, 08:21 PM
I don't see anything suggesting torture fantasy here.
That phrase has connotations I didn't really mean to invoke; I'm sorry. I will edit and strikethrough to something more precise.

However, I was basing that on the lines from the OP: "So there is some possibility that at some point the PCs might be hunted, captured, and one of them tortured" "I'm a med student at a surgery rotation, so I can describe things (or even bring pictures, but that WILL be too much) quite nicely". This seems to suggest there will be a detailed description of the gnolls torturing one of the player characters, and (from the rest of the thread) that this is not usual content for the game. That was mostly what I was reacting badly to.

Grinner
2013-02-11, 08:46 PM
Personally I don't think "fun" is the right word (:smalltongue:), but I do know that I'd say "yes" if I were in your group. It sounds like a great RP opportunity.

This is what I was trying to get at. I don't think anyone would actually find the idea of being harvested appealing, but it would add much depth to the game and the participating player characters.

Deploy
2013-02-11, 09:35 PM
If this came out of nowhere It would throw me off quite a bit, but if before the campaign began I was warned that there will be much darker scenarios than I'm used to, I would eat this up. It offers so many RP opportunities.

As for the nature of the ritual, perhaps the organs are replaced with an effigy of the organ. This effigy offers many pros and cons. You are now seen as blessed by the god of the hunt by any who can recognize it. Crows and other scavenger birds will randomly drop shiny items they found at your feet. Children will be wary of your touch. You gain sharpened senses at night, particularly smell. When detect evil is cast on you it will always read evil even if you yourself are not. Occasionally you feel like there's a voice whispering from inside you. Cool little things like that, they aren't huge advantages or disadvantages, but I think the player should constantly be asking if this is a curse or a blessing.

Kol Korran
2013-02-12, 04:27 AM
<talking things before hand with the players>

As you and Dr Bwaa have said, talk it out before hand sounds like the best advice to me. It's the simplest things, something I often do for all kinds of other issues, for some reason I didn't think about it for this one. thanks for reminding me. :smallamused:


<effigy suggestion and implementation
interesting idea, a bit similar to the organ exchange suggested earlier, but in another direction. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks! :smallwink:

Matticussama
2013-02-12, 06:37 AM
I, personally, have had similar (or worse) on the gore scale in games that I've played in. It didn't bother me or my group any, but we also tend to play lots of violent video games so blood and gore don't tend to bother us. Obviously talking with your group about their preferred gore comfort level is good.

When it comes to description, you can also phase it in incrementally; maybe they come across an NPC who has died (or barely survived) one of those organ harvestings. If the players investigate, have them roll a Heal check to see the full effects. This way you can introduce the idea in concept before having it potentially happen to any PCs. This can soften the blow. Then when/if it happens again, you can base how much detail you give based upon that first encounter. If people got squeamish at it being described about NPCs, then don't go into too much detail when/if it happens to NPCs; just give a basic summary and move on. On the other hand, if players ask for more details, then describe away.

Synovia
2013-02-12, 09:52 AM
However, I was basing that on the lines from the OP: "So there is some possibility that at some point the PCs might be hunted, captured, and one of them tortured" "I'm a med student at a surgery rotation, so I can describe things (or even bring pictures, but that WILL be too much) quite nicely". This seems to suggest there will be a detailed description of the gnolls torturing one of the player characters, and (from the rest of the thread) that this is not usual content for the game. That was mostly what I was reacting badly to.

Yeah, honestly, I think a lower level of detail might be better. Maybe even just the PC waking up with a huge scar and not remembering much.

There's a drug they give people during colonoscopies that allows you to be aware during the procedure, but you basically don't form any memories. If the Gnolls keep the PCs alive out of respect for their ability to stay ahead of the hunters/withstand torture, that might be the sort of kindness they'd give.


It really depends how you want to play it... it could turn into a mystery of the PCs trying to figure out why they all wake up in tubs full of ice, or they could know what happened and be trying to figure out how to cope with it.

bbgenderless100
2013-02-12, 07:14 PM
Edit: I don't come up with these kind of ideas on a usual basis, and I don't try and torture/ maim/ make the lives of my players miserable. the situation suggested in the thread is a deviation from the norm for my group, which I'm trying to decide whether it's fun or not.
---------------------------------------------------
I've been having an idea running through my mind lately, and would value your opinions. I'm a bit worried if it might be too much, and how to best implement it in play. In a future campaign I plan to run, gnolls will be a major force in the wild lands. I want to play to their savagery, their brutality, and one of the ideas that contribute to this concept is The Hunt.

Some music to get us in the mood... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88SOwK7Ocsk) :smallwink:

Gnolls usually hunt for food, or fight of intruders, but at times they see a worthy/ interesting prey, (which can be beasts, but also sentient humanoids) and decide to make a special game of it, a special hunt. they will test their surviving skills, fighting skills, resilience and more as they harass and prey on them for some time, until they decide to launch a final assault. only they don't just kill the prey, they capture it. what follows is what this thread is about.

due to a suggestion mentioned on this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267499), I'd like to make a central part of gnoll culture the custom of harvesting the organs of your (worthy) fallen prey, either to eat and grow your spiritual power, or to preserve as fetishes and symbols of status, sort of "spiritual souvenirs" of the hunt. but they do this while the prey is... alive and awake. (through use of herbalism and perhaps some simple magic. an adept accompanies most hunting groups) why? for two reasons:
1- Gnolls religion (in this campaign, drawing on the Mockery and Devourer from Eberron) highly values pain, suffering and torment. by making their worthy prey suffer and scream and howl, they give the highest sacrifice to their gods.
2- this is also a test for the worthy prey. if the subject doesn't feint, if the subject doesn't die and actually live through the process (the gnolls may take only organs that though might main the prey, will still enable him to live) he might gain great honor from the gnoll group, patched up (minus organs), and sent free. in cases where the gnolls hunt groups, one of the group will be forced to endure the ordeal, if s/he passes, the rest of the group lives. if not- they perish due to his/ her "weakness".

So there is some possibility that at some point the PCs might be hunted, captured, and one of them tortured and have some organs removed, perhaps meeting his death. I DO think this will serve the purpose of fixing the cruelty of gnolls in the players' minds, but I have a few issues:

1) Might this be too much? will you as a player continue to play with a character that have went such a horrific ordeal? I think it might be a great roleplay opportunity, but I know people's opinions may differ than mine, and some people just don't like bad things happening to their characters.

2) how to make the encounte,r the torture more unique? I'm a med student at a surgery rotation, so I can describe things (or even bring pictures, but that WILL be too much) quite nicely, but I want the player to have a decent way to express him/herself in this. A coversation with the gnoll with scalpel while s/he cuts into her? a test of will spirit? ideals? values?

also, how to implement the test in mechanical terms? I want it to be more than a few fort/ will save to avoid dying and/ or losing their minds/ blacking out. I want the player's own resilience and determination to have a say in this.

3) supposing the PC survives this, how does it affect her? S/he will gain quite a bonus to dealing with gnolls socially i'd assume (which might be interesting since s/he will probably just want to kill them all). but how does it affects the person physically? I don't want normal healing magic to work (no "cure" spells) but regeneration at minimum. probably some penalties to either Con or some other stuff.

but this needs compensating of some sort to the player (considering that the way most gnoll hunts are set the prey doesn't have a lot of a chance to break free really) some special "campaign feat"? such as special bonuses against gnolls, or immunity to fear (they've been through the worst) or something else? your thoughts?

4) minor issue, but i'd still like opinions- should devouring an organ (maybe joined with a special ritual) or carrying some sort of an organ fetish grant any bonus to the gnoll? can these be actual sort of minor- medium magical items known to be used by gnolls? intriguing thoughts, and an interesting concept for magic items, perhaps as gifts from gnolls when the time comes... :smallamused:

thanks for reading, hoping you'll respond. looking forward to your ideas!

1.Definitely.

2.The first one you suggested sounds pretty good.

3.Yes and scars i would assume,special bonuses would work.

4.Maybe, and perhaps.

Surfnerd
2013-02-13, 12:03 AM
For me it would depend how the situation presented itself. In the hunt encounter, you are essentially prey to a wild band of savage humanoids and for sport they are willing to barter organs to let some players go free, with the potential one may die or at least suffer long term effects. My group would just fight them to the death. Maybe your group is different.

Now if for whatever reason we were forced to trade with the savage gnolls for organs of other monstrous humanoids they harvest, perhaps gallbladder of mite helps fight off a contagious magical disease spreading across the duchy. Now in order to trade they force one of the players to undergo the aforementioned organ swap, I could see being more inclined to undergo this without all the animosity toward the gnolls. Plus this creates more drama as the players must either find some way to circumvent the ordeal or succumb to save their homeland.

You could make a whole arc out of it with the players going on a humanoid hunt with them, maybe goblins. Doing ritual scarification, piercing, or tattooing. Drinking or doing sacred drugs as part of the rite. With each player being the center of one, this could keep all involved. Perhaps the gnolls have a clever leader and sees more than just selling mite gallbladder as a means to improve his clan and unite some of the other clans/tribes in the area. Do the players take his further offers back to civilized lands and get rich at the cost of the rise in gnoll power?

All in all I think you have a great seed if planted in the right soil.

Kol Korran
2013-02-13, 02:05 AM
When it comes to description, you can also phase it in incrementally; maybe they come across an NPC who has died (or barely survived) one of those organ harvestings. If the players investigate, have them roll a Heal check to see the full effects. This way you can introduce the idea in concept before having it potentially happen to any PCs.
I do intend to have some rumors, perhaps a survivor or two of such rituals be present since the start of the game. but their purpose is not to "soften the blow", quite the contrary. I see their roles as twice fold:
1) they allow me to gauge the players' response of the ritual before I'll try to implement such an encounter. (If a player says "I'd rather be dead!" than maybe I should skip it, and the like)
2) more importantly, they actually enhance the horror and brutal nature of the gnolls- the party learns some rumors, some exaggerated by the populace, and thus come to fear any kind of gnolls groups who don't immediately attack. If they realize the hunt is on, and it's meaning, it becomes a much more horrifying run for survival, a more desperate attempt at not getting caught. As many horror directors have said- let their mind do the work for you.


There's a drug they give people during colonoscopies that allows you to be aware during the procedure, but you basically don't form any memories. If the Gnolls keep the PCs alive out of respect for their ability to stay ahead of the hunters/withstand torture, that might be the sort of kindness they'd give.
I know of the drug you speak, but...
The entire idea of this encounter is to experience it's horror, the savagery, the brutality and so on. If I'm going to take all that away, I had better not run the encounter at all. but I understand from your response that you're not much in the favor of the encounter as well? noted, thanks.


It really depends how you want to play it... As I mentioned, the idea is for shock value, an encounter that reaches beyond the comfort zone, but which does not extend to the "this is soooooo bad I don't want to continue playing this character/ this game anymore!" which is a very delicate niche I am coming to realize...


1.Definitely.

2.The first one you suggested sounds pretty good.

3.Yes and scars i would assume,special bonuses would work.

4.Maybe, and perhaps.

I don't quite understand your answers- definitely it's too much? or definitely you'l lcontinue to play? as to 2- which fisrt one are you talking about? 4- maybe what? perhaps what?


For me it would depend how the situation presented itself. In the hunt encounter, you are essentially prey to a wild band of savage humanoids and for sport they are willing to barter organs to let some players go free, with the potential one may die or at least suffer long term effects. My group would just fight them to the death. Maybe your group is different.
oh, i guess my group will try to fight them off, however:
1) the gnolls will probably have the best knowledge of the surrounding and use it against the PCs.
2) the PCs may also have some other NPCs with them, who don't want to just "fight to the death, but survive"
3) the gnolls don't "offer to barter organs", instead they either knock the PCs unconscious by enough damage to send them to negatives (and then stabilize), or by debilitating poisons, traps, alchemical substsances and spells. once neutrelized the gnolls tie them all up, the only real choice the PC has is who will undergo the ritual for them all, and to try and survive this.

from your answer I assume you don't like the scenario, find it offensive? it is supposed to give the feeling of helplessness (the party might have quite a few chances to escape this fate however, but the chances will be stacked against them. it doesn't have to be, rather a consequence of disregard to the area's forces. it doesn't matter for this thread though). The idea is to produce a challenging ROLEPLAY experience, not the usual "fight monster, get xp, get loot" kind of encounter. our group likes roleplay challenges, I was wondering if this might be accepted, or if it might push them too much.


Now if for whatever reason we were forced to trade with the savage gnolls for organs of other monstrous humanoids they harvest, perhaps gallbladder of mite helps fight off a contagious magical disease spreading across the duchy. The idea is that there are no migitating circumstances to this. Something bad is happening to you. It doesn't have any real reason, greater good, or higher purpose. what do you do with it?


You could make a whole arc out of it with the players going on a humanoid hunt with them, maybe goblins. there is enough going on in this campaign, which deals mostly in the nature of savagery and civilization, fine distinctions and blending into each other. the party comes (initially) form the more civilized part of conflict. the encounter is to show an extreme of the other side.

thank you all. I value your opinion, it helps me refine this quite touchy subject further. :smallwink:

Kane0
2013-02-13, 07:16 PM
I'd suggest that, on the off-chance they survive, the gnolls slice up some cowardly gnoll (Should be one or two on hand), extract whatever they just removed from the PC, and replace the human (or elvish or whatever) organs with gnoll organs. Alternately have some particularly courageous gnoll agree to an organ swamp with the PCs. Either way, this means that the PCs now smell different and can be recognized by any gnoll anywhere. Further, the tale of their survival will be spread through all the gnoll tribes, leading to females wanting to mate with them (PLEASE write up their reactions to this! :smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin:) and warriors deferring to them. Also, they should gain the ability to speak gnoll and maybe some other gnoll racial traits.

... My god. Can I use this idea please?

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-14, 06:41 AM
... My god. Can I use this idea please?

Certainly!